On the grounds of the Capitol Complex in Charleston, West Virginia, there were some residents whose homes had fallen into disrepair. The squirrels who live in the trees on the Statehouse lawn are a well known and beloved fixture of the grounds at the Capitol Complex, but in recent months, their living situation had been deteriorating.
As detailed in an article in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, over the years, the small wooden boxes the squirrels called home had begun rotting away and ceased to offer reliable protection against the elements.
This situation went largely unnoticed by many visitors to the Capitol Complex because the boxes were installed high up in the trees, often out of sight from the ground below.
Leave it to an aspiring Eagle to be looking out for squirrels.
Scout Breece F., who grew up just a few blocks from the Capitol Complex and refers to the Statehouse lawn as “like my own yard,” noticed that the floors had completely rotted out of several of the existing squirrel houses.
Breece said he had been looking for a unique Eagle Scout project, and he believed that installing new homes for the squirrels might just work. Replacing the rotting old boxes would not only help the much-loved furry denizens of the Capitol Complex, but it would also help to beautify the grounds.
However, the General Services Administration, the agency in charge of maintaining the Capitol grounds, originally declined Breece’s offer to replace the boxes. But in true Scouting form, Breece refused to give up so easily.
He worked with personnel at the wildlife resources of the West Virginia DNR, who helped him redesign and refine the proposed new squirrel houses. Upon resubmitting the revised designs and proposal to the General Services Administration, the project was approved to move forward.
Through additional research, Breece discovered that the original squirrel homes had been placed there more than two decades earlier as part of an Eagle Scout project. To carry on that legacy with his own Eagle Scout project, he added one small touch to the new boxes – a Boy Scout fleur-de-lis.
See more of Breece’s story in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, and learn about the benefits these new boxes offer to the squirrels. You can also watch some of the installation in the Charleston Gazette-Mail video below.
To see how Eagle Scouts like Breece make a regular difference in their communities, check out the Baylor University Study, “Eagle Scouts: Merit Beyond the Badge.”