Scouts celebrate 5 years of Earth Day service projects

Scouts celebrate 5 years of Earth Day service projects

Scouters of Holmes County will be busy again this year on Earth Day, planting trees as it has done the past several years.


For many years Holmes County Scouting troops have invested in building up and caring for the earth around them.

Their most recent endeavor continues that trend in a new Holmes County Park District Wetland Project.

One of the Scouting beliefs is planting native trees and shrubs and the removal of invasive plants are a lifeline to cleaner air and a healthier and more diverse forest environment.

Earth Day has a special place in Scout culture as Scouts know responsible stewardship of the planet is key to being a good Scout. Since the Boy Scouts of America’s early beginnings, Scouts have been caring for the planet. The principles of the Scouting program’s outdoor code demonstrate how Scouts show respect for the environment.

Scouts are in their fifth year of what they intend to be a perpetual plan to improve existing underutilized land, having created a maple syrup sugar bush at the old Holmes County Fairgrounds and removing invasive species as they continue their Earth Day work.

“Each year we work with the Park District and Soil and Water to earmark a piece of land,” said Rebecca Schlabach, Scouters of Holmes County Earth Day committee member. “We have great partners in the reforestation effort and have a great start at the north end of the old fairgrounds to turn a field into a forest. In 2024 we are focusing on a new piece of Holmes County Park District land on the other side of Rails to Trails, just off the Walmart parking lot.”

The tree planting is always on Earth Day, which is April 22, and the Scouts are eager to continue their tree-planting effort.

“We start at 6 p.m., and it’s amazing to watch these boys and girls plant that many trees in a couple of hours,” said Brodie DeHass, the newly elected president of Scouters of Holmes County.

Karen Gotter, watershed coordinator for Holmes County Soil & Water Conservation District, agrees.

“These Scouts have planted more than 1,000 trees around our county,” Gotter said. “Native trees and shrubs are valuable for wildlife habitat, water quality and erosion control. It also teaches youth the importance of giving back to our community.”

For area Scouts this is a legacy project. Young Scouts will see the fruits of their efforts in the coming decades.

“Our hope is that someday they will show their kids mature trees that they planted. We also give each Scout a tree to take home and plant,” DeHass said.

Local Scout units will meet April 22 at the trail entrance in the Walmart parking lot at 6 p.m., and families with boys and girls are encouraged to come and learn more about Scouting and the work they do. The team will have grilled hot dogs, and participants should wear boots and bring their own water vessel. For more information follow SHC on Facebook at scoutersofholmescounty.

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