On a chilly, misty morning, boy scouts and their fathers assembled at Sand Ridge in Oregon, Ill., to work on an Eagle Scout project. Josh Stromerg organized a crew, planned the work, planned lunch and directed the removal of 200 overgrown scotch pine trees from a section of Sand Ridge destined to be restored to prairie.
“We’ll line them up in threes,” he said. “Then, we’ll put a chain around them.” Fathers handled chainsaws; sons dragged the cut trees out to a waiting wagon, which transported them to the site where they will be burned.
The potential Eagle must organize the entire project from start to finish and not overlook any details. Orange signs and traffic cones directed the workers to the site. All tools were in working order; the wagon was towed behind a truck.
Despite the weather, sprits were high. “We’ll keep our fingers crossed,” said Josh’s father. Another remarked that cloudy weather was good for taking pictures. Another commented that “it’s nicer here than in Chicago, that’s for sure!” Josh’s mother was there to keep spirits high and to assist with carrying loose branches.
When all of the overgrown trees no longer suitable to be Christmas trees have been removed, a sweeping vista will appear. The Prairie Preservation Society of Ogle County (PPSOC), owner of Sand Ridge, is grateful for the many volunteer hours spent by scouts clearing the large section of pines.
Posted Dec. 11, 2013