Eagle Scout Project on the Neck River Uplands

NRU trailhead before the Eagle Scout project.

This autumn the Madison Land Conservation Trust was fortunate to be the recipient of a gift from an Eagle Scout. Stephen Hansen, a member of BSA Troup 494, grew up in north Madison and spent many happy hours hiking and exploring the Land Trust property near his neighborhood – the Neck River Uplands North. He had noticed that the trailhead on Princess Drive was steep and eroded making it difficult for hikers to access the trail. As his senior year of high school approached, he realized that he could design a project that would improve the trail for Land Trust visitors while at the same time fulfilling his dream of becoming an Eagle Scout.

Working with Ted O’Neill, volunteer Eagle Scout coordinator, his scout leaders, Mr. John Rogers and Mr. Ian Taylor, and his parents, Stephen developed a design for improvements to the trailhead that included 15 stone and timber frame steps, waterbars to improve runoff, and grading at the top and bottom of the new trailhead. Stephen was responsible for coordinating a team of 20 people who came out to help with the project, contributing 150 hours of labor. He raised all the money to purchase the necessary materials. And when the work day arrived, Stephen acted as project coordinator, assembling all the material and tools at the site, directing his work crew, and making sure everything was constructed according to the plans he had drawn up.

Stephen’s project leaves a tangible legacy to the Neck River Uplands that will be appreciated by visitors to the trail for years to come. It is a tribute to his energy and leadership ability that he was both able and willing to complete the project. The Madison Land Conservation Trust is fortunate to be the recipient of his outstanding efforts and the generosity of his donors: Madison Lion’s Club, Madison Exchange Club, North Madison Wine and Spirits, Madison Veterinarian Hospital, Dr. Doug Callis, Shoreline Pediatrics, Mike Ott and the Town of Madison, and Guilford Savings Bank.

Volunteers working on the steps.

New timber framed steps at the trailhead.

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