BEAVERCREEK — One young man brings a new meaning to what 129 service hours can do to help the community. Mark Hastriter took advantage of this warm winter to complete his Eagle Scout requirements, get in touch with nature, and leave a finish project that will benefit the Beavercreek community for years to come.
The preservation and restoration of trees took place at Russ Nature Reserve located at 2380 Kemp Road and earned this young man his Eagle Scout for “outstanding leadership in the community.”
“I had to plan which type of trees would be transplanted and the new location for those trees. No funds were required to be raised,” said Hastriter. “The project sponsor, Ken Bish [of Russ Nature Reserve], picked the type of trees and locations for the trees to be planted. We transplanted Burr Oaks, Red Oaks, Red Maples, and Red Buds.”
Hastriter has been involved in the Boy Scouts since he was 11-years-old. Now, 16 and in the 11th grade, in addition to the Boy Scouts and being a referee for the Beavercreek Soccer Association, he enjoys playing soccer, basketball, softball and is involved in gymnastics. He also enjoys breakdancing, performing magic tricks and solving puzzles.
When choosing his project for the Eagle Scout, he considered many possibilities including aiding refugees. But, after speaking with his friend, Ryan Skouson about his own Eagle Scout project at the Russ Nature Reserve, he decided to contact Ken Bish to inquire about the Reserve’s needs he said.
“Mr. Bish has helped many scouts choose an Eagle project that both interests the scout and benefits the Nature Reserve, but he also encourages the scout to take lead on their project.”
With a projected goal, he quickly put his plan in place by posting his project efforts with his church to help recruit help from friends and family. Armoring everyone with landscaping tools, mulch, dirt, and tarps, they set out to transplant 12 trees and relocate them to help service the needs of the park and nature, such as birds and other small animals.
“I’m most proud of all the people that came out to support me in my project. About ten people committed to show up for the first shift and fewer for the second shift. I was really impressed when 29 people showed up to help on the first shift,” Hastriter said. “I planned for two 3-hour shifts on Friday and a 4-hour shift on Saturday. We completed all of the work on Friday so I didn’t need to use the Saturday shift.”
With any project, there’s usually a hiccup or something that doesn’t go exactly as planned. Hastriter’s one issue was that the metal poles used to cut the tree roots were bending. But, with the help of the park services, a bobcat was obtained to help finish the project.
“This project has left a lasting impact that can be seen by all who walk around the playscape. I also enjoyed the opportunity to work with Mr. Bish. He allowed me to lead my project and encouraged me to make a positive impact on the community,” he said. “This project gave me more experience in leading people, as well as delegating tasks to others. It also gave me opportunities to listen and learn from Mr. Bish.”
Hastriter is set for graduation from Beavercreek High School in 2018. He plans to obtain an associate’s degree from Clark State Community College, attend Brigham Young University, serve a two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and finish with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
“I would urge any Boy Scout to continue through all the merit badges, first aid, fire-building, and knots. Even though it may seem difficult now, I know that it will be immensely helpful for the future things in life. Pick a project of interest and where you can gain significant leadership experience,” Hastriter said.
For more information regarding his project or about the Boy Scouts, contact Troop #14, Leader Mike Murrow.