For my Eagle project I decided to organize the labor to construct the first mile of a two-mile trail extension that PWCTSC had been aiming to start on in the next few years. The trail runs in parallel to the Bull Run River as part of a popular network of nature trails that run through my neighborhood and connect to several nearby neighborhoods. The total completion of the trail extension will allow a hiker or biker to go from the Safeway grocery store on Sudley Manor all the way to the Super Target on Route 28 (A.K.A. Nokesville road) without having to cross a single road; connecting a handful of housing developments along the way. The area the trail runs through often intersects with Bull Run River floodplains and a few scenic overlooks upon the river. While planning the trail I discovered that the area is highly historic. The PWC historian informed me that the first shots of the First Battle of Manassas very well may have been shot from the banks of the Bull Run River where the trail runs along, especially because at the time a grain mill was operating along the same bank of the river. We even spotted a Bald Eagle nest across the river, giving all of us an even stronger feeling of patriotism about the construction of the trail.
The project itself consisted of many parts. In the beginning there were many afternoons of on-site meetings with PWCTSC representatives to plan and assure that my project would be a usable platform for the PWCTSC to build upon in the future. Once the exact route was planned I noticed that the trail passed right by an old disused trash dump which could be easily cleared by a large task force of my volunteers and thus, clearing it became part of the plan. Before I could release my team of friends, scouts, and family to clear the trail, the entire length of the trail had to be cut down with a brush mower. Thankfully, a leading member of the PWCTSC was willing to volunteer his time, energy, and brush mower to cut down the foliage. Finally, once the day came to bring the masses together, I organized three teams. One team focused on stump, rock, and log removal; the second focused on flattening the trail; and the third cleared the old trash dump (filling an entire utility trailer full of trash!). After the first big workday I realized that another workday would be needed to complete the jobs so we hit the trail once more a few weeks later. This time we had more people and my uncle was able to make four natural wood benches out of fallen logs. Today (1/31/16) the trail is used frequently by nearby community members and the trail head is marked by an informational kiosk, made as a Girl Scout project. Thank you for your interest in, and recognition of, my Eagle Scout project. It would mean the world to me for you, reader, to stroll down that beautiful stretch of dirt we helped bring alive. Thank you for your time,
Will McCarty, Eagle Scout