By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIED — Three young men are working on plans to improve the grounds at the University of Wisconsin-Marshfield/Wood County through Boy Scouts of America Eagle Scout projects.
The Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable through the Boy Scouts of America. To obtain the achievement, a scout must sustain through years of commitment; acquire 21 merit badges; and devise and advance a service project for a religious institution, educational institution, or his community.
Olson’s project is to introduce signage on the grounds of the university’s arboretum, a 140-acre natural forest that is protected by the UW.
“Matt is doing three large entrance trail signs for the main entrances of the arboretum,” said Michelle Boernke, UW-Marshfield/Wood County assistant dean of administration and finance. “They have never been done professionally, and two of the entrances have no signage, and the few we have now are falling down.”
As part of the project, Olson is fundraising to help cover some of the costs, coordinating volunteers, making sign posts, designing the signs, and identifying and measuring the distance on the three main arboretum trails for use on the sign maps.
Olson is a member of Boy Scout Troop No. 385.
Pankratz’s project also involves the arboretum as he will install several plant and tree identification markers on the forest grounds.
“I believe there will be more than 20 of these. … He is working with (Associate Professor of Biological Sciences) Laura Lee to get what she wants identified,” Boernke explained. “He is taking photos of them, getting the plant information, and making a brochure as well.”
The brochures will be available to visitors in a holder attached to a large sign Olson is developing.
“His smaller signs will be located in the arboretum and are full color and will need individual posts, which he is making himself and then (will be) installed,” said Boernke.
Pankratz is fundraising for the project and coordinating volunteers to complete the work. Like Olson, he is a member of Boy Scout Troop No. 385.
“Ian’s project is the Everett Roehl STEM Center court yard landscaping,” said Boernke. “He will be helping the UW to finish the landscaping and planning for the courtyard.
“His project is also to work with Dr. Laura Lee to select the plants that will go into the six large planters, plant them, and arrange where they are to go.
“He and the volunteers he finds to help him will fill the pots with gravel and dirt and plants. They will also put together the picnic tables and place where they go. He will also plant the tree on the far end (of the courtyard).”
Brunson has also been asked to fundraise to help cover the cost of the plants used in the six planters. He is a member of Boy Scout Troop No. 391.