Thursday, September 23, 2010

Boy Scouts to join National Public Lands Day at Glacier Basin

From Bob Davies, at the T'Kope Kwiskwis Lodge of the Boy Scouts of America:

September 25, 2010 is National Public Lands Day, a day for people all over the country to give service to our nation’s public spaces. Close to home, local members of the Order of the Arrow will be hard at work in Mount Rainer National Park in observance of the nationwide movement.

The Order of the Arrow is the National Honor Society of the Boy Scouts of America. The local branch of the Order of the Arrow is T’Kope Kwiskwis Lodge, which serves King County and parts of the Olympic Peninsula. The organization is known nationally for its mission of community service and focus on outdoor adventure. Uniquely, the programs in the Order are planned and executed almost entirely by youth members.

Members of the Lodge will spend the weekend at Ranger Creek, on the north side of the mountain, an area especially in need of maintenance. “After storms in the winter of 2006, Mt. Rainier National Park was devastated” says Ian Bellows, Lodge Secretary and Logistics Chairman. “There’s been a lot of work done in and around the park, but there’s still plenty of work left do.” Planned activities for the weekend will include building trail and bridges, revegetation and slope stabilization, and invasive plant removal.

The project next weekend is in preparation for a massive service project in the summer of 2011, called ArrowCorps 502. “The goal of the project,” said Evan Skandalis, ArrowCorps 502 Chairman, “is to invite 502 Scouts, Scouters, and Arrowmen from all over the country to spend a week in Mt. Rainier National Park. It’s a great way to get people to ‘pay it forward’ and give back to one of our iconic National Parks.”

With the Boy Scouts of America’s increased focus on conservation and the Lodge’s mission of service, the project was “a perfect fit” for the 1000 member Lodge, according to Bellows. “We’re going to be a part of something that will make a real and lasting difference, and that’s a great feeling.”

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