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Eagle Scouts provide needed housing

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 Special to the Citizen

    Thanks to Jeremy Pittman’s Eagle Scout Project, 25 new cypress homes have been made available to the residents of Watermelon Pond.

“Hopefully, it will help a family of bluebirds to realize the American dream of a home of their own,” said Norberto Fernandez, Fisheries and Wildlife Biological Scientist III at the Watermelon Pond WEA in Fanning Springs.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission needed bluebird boxes constructed and installed - and Jeremy Pittman of Troop 514 First United Methodist church of Chiefland stepped up to do the job.

Life Scout, Pittman, decided to use his leadership abilities to coordinate the project. They constructed 25 nesting boxes out of rough sawn cypress and made them predator proof by mounting them on galvanized poles. The group worked after school and on Saturdays to log 150 hours of community service.

They also aided the FWC’s goal to develop a productive environmental area by establishing a healthy bluebird population. The local wildlife benefits and it enhances the experience of visitors by giving them a chance to see such wildlife near their nesting sites. The bluebird boxes are mounted along the property fence line for about one-and-a-half miles.

This project was a great success and everyone involved should be very proud - including Norberto Fernandez who provided the supplies and materials; and Jade Roof who helped with advice and on-site installation, Bob Ross commented. Both men are Wildlife Biologists with FWC. Army Private Steven Calloway, who is a former Eagle Scout from Troop 514, found time to help while on leave from his duties in Afghanistan. Project leader, Junior Assistant Scoutmaster Jeremy Pittman, Austin Ross, Levi Sprague, Dawson Phillips, Patrick Hathcox, Committee member Joan Hathcox and Scoutmaster Bob Ross, all helped with the projects as well.

Watermelon Pond is located between Bronson and Newberry. For directions, contact the FWC or call Andrews Wildlife Management at 493-6020.

For more information about scouting in the Tri-County area, call Bob Ross at 493-1363.