J-E: Trail project earns Eagle Scout honor

Jordan's Boy Scout Troop 57 convened for an Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Sunday, June 8 in recognition of Conner B. O'Brien, 15, recently certified as an Eagle Scout by the Hiawatha Seaway Council and the National Office of the Boy Scouts of America.

Conner has been involved in Scouts since 1999 when he earned his Bobcat as a cub scout. Conner, a junior at Jordan-Elbridge, is a member of the marching band and chess club and an honor roll student.

To be advanced to Eagle Scout, Conner completed a 100-hour project tackling the

J-E High School Cross Country Forest Trail. The task required project management, soliciting donations of materials, organizing volunteers, and grueling physical work.

But Conner did not feel overwhelmed by the project.

While it was a lot of hard work, I was prepared for it, he said. The most challenging aspect was gathering donations, he added.

Conner chose to revitalize the trail after the idea was brought up at a scout meeting and he knew he could take on the challenge.

The trail had numerous drainage issues, necessitating trenches and drainage pipes to reroute run off. Fallen trees and stumps were removed, while surface roots were painted with bright colors to improve visibility, and the trail boundaries were defined with logs and stone.

Three benches were installed, two of which were rebuilt and recycled park benches; the third was a natural log bench.

At the trailhead, a gateway now stands, promoting the cross-country program.

At the ceremony, held at the Town Of Elbridge Community Center, Conner was awarded his eagle ribbon and pin and presented with letters of recognition from various town and state officials, as well as Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodelle, and President George W. Bush.

The most exciting part of becoming an Eagle Scout was people coming up to thank me, Conner said. Which made realize that I actually made a difference.

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