Eagle Scouts help local land trust soar

Nov 24, 2019

Local Eagle Scouts have volunteered their time and efforts to help Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust with various projects on 15 of the land trust’s 17 publicly accessible properties.

DNRT noted in a recent statement that the latest properties to be improved through Eagle Scout work are the Parsons Reserve and Destruction Brook Woods.

Both properties now feature new cedar benches built by 16-year-old Eagle Scout Andrew Magalhaes of Dartmouth, a member of local Troop 13.

The benches are located near each property’s vernal pool, providing visitors with a place to rest and observe the pool and surrounding area. 

Magalhaes also constructed four tree swallow nest boxes to replace dilapidated ones at DNRT’s Slocum’s River Reserve.

He told the organization that he liked learning different building techniques required for the projects, and added that the bird houses were in some ways more challenging than the benches.

A Boy Scout for seven years, Magalhaes said he most enjoys the camaraderie of scouting.

According to DNRT, the organization has worked with several Eagle Scouts from Troop 13 over the years, and has a long history of collaboration with scout troops from all over the area.

Nearly 20 Boy Scouts from four troops have completed Eagle Scout projects with the land trust since 1999, building 15 kiosks, five benches, eight boardwalks, and a split-rail fence. Past projects have also included trail clearing.

The trust also depends on Eagle Scouts to help with projects designed to support wildlife.

Along with the tree swallow boxes built by Magalhaes, Eagle Scout Merle Durant from Troop 170 will be completing construction of a chimney swift tower for DNRT in 2020.

The tower will be located at Helfand Farm and will provide nesting habitat for chimney swifts, which were displaced from the property when the chimney the birds used for nesting had to be torn down.

“We are so grateful to all of the Eagle Scouts we’ve partnered with over the years,” said Linda Vanderveer, DNRT Land Manager. “They’ve had such a positive impact on us as an organization, and by extension their work really benefits the entire community.”

She continued, “Eagle Scouts have helped DNRT provide visitors to our properties with an enjoyable outdoor experience, whether it’s keeping your feet dry as you walk through a wetland, providing a place for maps and important information, or a quiet place to sit and enjoy nature. We commend these Scouts for all of their hard work and are proud of their accomplishments.”

DNRT is a non-profit, membership-supported land trust that has protected more than 5,000 acres of wetland, farmland, forests, and scenic landscapes in Dartmouth since its formation in 1971.