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Ben Rutberg

Special Correspondent

Holliston benefited from a recent upswing of Eagle Scout projects over the past couple of years, as a bumper crop of Scouts has approached the Eagle Scout project deadline.

According to Eagle Scout Jonathan Redus, this past year saw eight Eagle Scout projects as opposed to roughly two in each of three previous years.

Eagle Scout project numbers throughout the years are “cyclical, but not predictable,” according to Assistant Scoutmaster Michael Gallagher.  Numbers every year vary “regarding parameters of age [and] rank.”

They also depend on “how active [the Scouts] are” in other activities, Gallagher said.  “Some of them do sports or plays.”

Four Eagle Scouts have done their projects on the Holliston rail trail over the past two to three years, according to Mark Kaplan, a member of the town-appointed Holliston Rail Trail Committee.  Projects have ranged from landscaping around one entrance to the trail to digging up railroad ties near the Milford line.

“We’re trying to build a trail; these Scout projects contributed to that goal in a meaningful way,” Kaplan said.

The Rail Trail is not the only beneficiary of Eagle Scout project work.  According to Redus, organizations often contact scout troops, saying “hey, if you’ve got any more that need projects, here’s some stuff you can do.”  These organizations include the Conservation Commission, the Historical Society, and the Senior Center.

Redus updated trail markers on conservation land near Adams St. for his Eagle Scout project.  He relied on “local stores and businesses” to help him, as well as “the community as a whole to provide volunteers.”

For his Eagle Scout project, Benjamin Flanagan designed and built a Rail Trail information kiosk at Blair Square and then installed stop signs at five different intersections between the trail and various roads.  Flanagan feels that in doing so, he has helped call attention to the “hidden gem” of the rail trail.

Although Flanagan did not notice any competition for projects due to the recent increase, he admitted that there was some challenge coordinating Boy Scout efforts between the different projects.

“Imagine telling ten other kids what to do,” said Gallagher about the challenges Eagle Scouts face while undertaking their projects.

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