Eagles spotted on Symmes Nature Trail | Community Spirit
SYMMES TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - The Symmes Elementary staff and students are continuing to embrace a 20 year tradition of studying the Nature Trail.
“We are really fortunate to have a beautiful extension of nature in the backyard of Symmes Elementary,” said Anne Van Kirk, Symmes principal. “Since 1992, the nature trail has offered tranquility, education and beauty all in one.”
For the last five years, the trail has flourished with the help of Sycamore students and parents under the guidance of Steve Reinke, a Symmes teacher who has been committed to ongoing expansion and improvements to the trail.
“My vision for the trail is to create and firmly establish an inquiry-based school and community land lab for use by all Sycamore students, families and community organizations,” explained Reinke.
The urban, forested property is complete with streams and other natural features that offer hands-on, outdoor learning. In addition to box turtles and other wildlife, recently some Eagles were spotted on the trail. Eagles, as in Eagle Scouts.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America. In addition to earning at least 21 merit badges, an Eagle Scout must plan, organize, lead and manage a service project. And thanks to the Eagle Scout projects of five Sycamore High School students, bridges and bird blinds, trail steps and learning areas were all recently added to the nature trail.
John Grosshiem, a junior, and James Reece, a senior, earned the Eagle Scout rank already: Grossheim built a bird blind on the trail, offering a close up view of wildlife. Reece cut part of a new one-mile loop trail.
On their way to the top rank, Aaron Myers, a junior, finished the other half of the trail and built bridges over gullies. Robby Lucian, a junior, built 24 steps from the top of the trail to the stream using railroad ties and contouring.
Still underway is an environmental working area: Daniel Harmon, a senior, has cleared a 40 by 40 foot section of honeysuckle and weeds to build four decks that will provide a flat area where students and community members can work. His project should be completed this summer.
“These projects enhanced students’ knowledge of environmental stewardship and sustainability, while allowing them to fulfill volunteer requirements,” Reinke enthused. “They have benefited the district and community by improving our nature trail and providing enhanced learning opportunities for students.”