Blake Johnson adjusts one of the bird houses and feeders he installed this summer on the nature trail adjacent to Malabar Intermediate School.
A former Malabar Intermediate School student, now an Eagle Scout candidate, worked this summer to improve the Tyger Nature Trail in the woods on the school’s north side.
Blake Johnson, son of Malabar teacher Susan Johnson, built and installed five bird feeders and three bird houses alongside the trail. He repaired benches in the outdoor classroom area and rebuilt the white board (for lesson displays).
Johnson also cleaned the entire trail, which was created by Eagle Scout Andrew Weilbacker of Boy Scout Troop 121 in 2011.
“I started planning in August of 2016 for a service project required to achieve Eagle Scout,” said Johnson, 16, now a junior at Ashland High School. “I started filling out a workbook, getting my thoughts together.”
He credits Sandy Overholt, a Malabar teacher, with the idea for the project after she mentioned a need for bird feeders along the trail.
Johnson did the bulk of the work himself, but said family members provided assistance. All total, he said, the project required 111 hours.
“I designed the feeders and the bird houses and bought the wood. My grandfather helped me cut the wood,” he said.
The feeders and houses were completed earlier this summer then one day in July Johnson installed them with some help from his parents.
Susan Johnson said her son, who has been involved in Scouting for 11 years, was enthusiastic about the service project.
“He attended sixth grade here and Malabar holds a special place in his heart, so he wanted to give back,” she said.
Johnson is a member of Ashland Boy Scout Troop 586 sponsored by Christ United Methodist Church. The nature trail project moved him closer to his goal.
“I have one more badge to earn,” he said. “I hope to finish my Eagle Scout requirements by October.”