Cub Scout Pack 366: 'Little Hands Doing Big Work'
Patch selects the members of Cub Scout Pack 366 as this week's Whiz Kids for their recent restoration efforts at Truxtun Park.
When area residents walk the trails of Truxtun Park, many do not consider the trash left behind or the erosion that has occurred.
“The surface is crumbling into the creek, slowly but surely,” said Marisa Wittlinger, environmental programs coordinator for the city of Annapolis Recreation and Parks Department (ARPD). “A huge trail is severely eroded.”
Twenty Cub Scouts from Annapolis Cub Scout Pack 366, accompanied by 20 siblings and parents, assisted in a cleanup project of Truxtun Park Aug. 16 to stabilize the trails and prevent further erosion.
Spearheaded by the ARPD and the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) Chesapeake Mid-Atlantic Regional Center, the restoration project was part of a larger initiative to certify Annapolis as an NWF Community Wildlife Habitat. The Community Wildlife Habitat would provide dwellings for wildlife throughout the community, according to the National Wildlife Federation website.
With rakes and shovels in hands, the scouts, ranging in grades 1-5, spread woodchips along trails, picked up trash along the water trail, and placed grass seed and mulch at the entrance. Straw was then set on top to hold the seeds in place.
During the project Wittlinger educated the scouts on the importance of the restoration work.
“We want to teach them about the environment, how it happens, and how to fix it,” Wittlinger said. “Little hands can do big work.”
According to a blog by Kim Martinez, regional education manager, Chesapeake Mid-Atlantic Regional Center, National Wildlife Federation, Annapolis, NWF and Annapolis Recreation and Parks’ staff answered questions about what kids were seeing in the nature around them.
One participant, Zayne Morton, 8, enjoyed walking on the tree stumps, but was bothered by the amount of trash.
“We found a rug there,” Zayne said. “It’s horrible because they should really recycle and throw away their trash!”
Zayne is concerned about the habitats of the snails, slugs, and lizards and wants to do his part to protect help them.
“We want to enjoy nature as it is intended,” said Christine Maceo, den leader of the 3rd graders. “It’s important for the boys to see they can reverse the impact and fix things in nature. It teaches them respect.”
Maceo said the scouts learn to respect nature by taking their garbage with them and leaving seashells on beaches.
Scoutmaster Bryan Littin selected this project because it relates to the 12 core values of scouting. Maceo stated that the cleanup incorporates respect for the environment, respect for self, and physical fitness.
Historic Annapolis parent Courtney Maples feels this was an educational and fun experience for everyone.
“They came home real excited that they cleaned up the park,” Maples said. “My son, Zayne, didn’t find out until later that he’d get a patch. I think it’s a great program overall.”