SHEPHERDSTOWN — Saturday morning dawned bright and beautiful — the perfect weather for Collin Guedel to make the trip to Morgan’s Grove Park, to see for the first time since Labor Day 2021 how his pollinator garden was beginning to blossom. to develop. The garden, filled with deer-resistant, low-maintenance perennials, was half of the service project the Jefferson high school student and member of Shepherdstown Troop 33 completed, to win his Eagle Scout Award in December 2021.
“The pollinator garden is past the football field, just past the spring house,” Guedel said. “It was about planting native plants in the area, encouraging the arrival of pollinators and keeping the local flora alive.”
The other half of the project was inspired by Shepherdstown Community Club president Jennifer Wabnitz, Guedel said. The CSC owns the park and does its best to care for it, through donations and the rental of portions of the park property. To increase funding for park maintenance, Wabnitz asked Guedel to place signs around the park asking for donations. Unfortunately, fundraising isn’t allowed as an Eagle Scout service project, but Guedel found a way to accommodate Wabnitz’s request, adding donation information to the bottom of signs dotted around the park that stand focused on his love for forestry and the park in general.
“I put 10 signs around the perimeter of the park, talking about various trees in the park. And then there were seven more [signs] who discussed various aspects of the park, such as how to get a bench dedicated to your name or how to volunteer at the park or recognizing people who have volunteered and made a huge contribution to the park itself. Of the signs that identify the trees, each identifies a native tree or a tree that has been naturalized, that was important to the park itself, such as the American Sycamore, Osage Orange, Kentucky Coffee Tree,” Guedel said, noting that he researched the information on the signs carefully and had it checked by Trees 101 owner Shawn Walker before having the signs printed. “There are a ton of trees around the park, and these signs kind of explain what the tree was, how to identify it, and something cool about it or where it came from.”
According to Guedel, the tree selections were made by himself and Wabnitz last July, after his Eagle Scout service project proposal was approved by the Shenandoah Regional Council. The digging of holes for the sign posts and the cement to be placed took place soon after, with the metal and wooden panels being fixed to the sign posts a little later, around November 2021.
Guedel expressed his gratitude for his father’s help in completing his Eagle Scout service project, as well as that of his fellow Scouts and members of the JHS Student Government Association (of which he is president).
“Eagle Scout is a huge commitment,” Guedel said, noting that due to delays from the COVID-19 pandemic, he completed his project a year or two later than he originally planned.
“I spent years in scouting, growing and developing. I didn’t want to end my time in the program with something small,” Guedel said. “Morgan’s Grove Park has been a big part of my life, I grew up just playing football here or coming here on weekends to enjoy the green space. So after realizing the commitment I felt to the park and the impact it had on my growth, I wanted to do something big for it and something I could be proud of.