Seasonal flood waters and extreme summer heat did not stop one area teen’s drive to accomplish one of the final steps in obtaining his Eagle Scout rank.
Cedar County Life Scout Mason Kiley, 15, from Boy Scout Troop 128, Bolivar, is completing his Eagle Scout service project with assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Stockton Lake in the form of handcrafted wood duck houses to be used by native waterfowl.
“I wanted to do something with fish or wildlife habitats for my Eagle Scout project,” Kiley said. “When wood duck boxes were brought up, I decided that would be a good fit, and I went for it.”
With assistance from family, friends and scouts alike, Kiley set about constructing more than 10 houses which native wood ducks will use during mating season and seasonally habitable months in lowland areas throughout the corps-controlled land.
Staff from the corps provided posts and specific locations for the new wood duck houses which are being placed at numerous locations throughout the whole of Stockton Lake.
“He’s putting these (wood duck house) in all over the place,” Park Ranger Clint Moore said. “Some are going in at Orleans Trail, some at Masters and some at Ruark Bluff. We’ve got great spots for them, and we’ve enjoyed working with him on this.”
While taking pride in his work and being modest in his milestone achievement, Kiley took time to acknowledge all those who helped him see his project to completion.
“It just feels good to do something like this,” Kiley said. “I had great help from (Park Ranger) Clint (Moore), scout leaders and my fellow scouts. And, I feel like this really is a useful step into adulthood.”
As Kiley completes his service project, he said he was thankful to the corps for allowing him permission and access for such an effort.
Additionally, Kiley said completing something people will appreciate for years to come while simultaneously helping native wildlife in the area he calls home was also of significant importance to his service project.
Additional information or inquiries regarding service projects, lake information and volunteer opportunities with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Stockton Project Office, can be obtained between the hours of 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday by calling 276-3113 or by visiting the lake’s information center at 16435 E. Stockton Lake Drive, Stockton.