Scout’s Honor

FALCONER – If you feel the nature trail around Abe Mattison Millrace Park in Falconer is safer to jog or walk through, you’re not dreaming.

In fact, the trail has been cleared of branches and roots that could be hazards by Michael Alexander. Alexander, of Falconer, is a recent graduate from Falconer Central School District who cleaned up the park for his Eagle Scout project.

Alexander, who has been in the scouts for six years, became an Eagle Scout on July 11. Alexander is part of troop 187 in Jamestown. The troop meets at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Each Eagle Scout must perform a community service project to reach the prestigious honor. Alexander choose for his project to improve the look of Millrace Park.

For the project, Alexander, and other volunteers, enhanced the park by painting picnic tables and the canoe launch dock. Alexander built and installed a bench overlooking the creek that travels through the park, and the volunteers removed broken branches and trimmed brush and roots to make the nature trail at the park safer for joggers and walkers.

”When jogging for cross county, I came through the trail and found it in bad shape,” he said. ”I saw it was in poor condition, and wanted to fix it up. I thought it would be nice for my Eagle Scout project.”

The county government oversees Millrace Park. George Spanos, county Public Facilities director, said Alexander approached him about doing the project. Spanos said Alexander was fully prepared with a presentation, detailing what he wanted to do to improve the park.

”I though it was a noble gesture on his part to do something for the community,” Spanos said. ”I thought it was nice that he wanted to do a project that would help the community and its residents.”

Spanos presented Alexander with a proclamation of appreciation from Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards for his volunteer work to improve the park.

Sam Ognibene, Falconer public works superintendent, said it is nice to see Alexander volunteer to do the renovations.

”It is nice to see young men stepping up to do their part for the community,” Ognibene said. ”It is their community as well.”