Editor's Note: The location cited in a previous version of this story has been updated for accuracy.
When it came time to select an Eagle Scout project, Joshua Sirken looked to his high school’s backyard for inspiration.
Joshua, 14, is a freshman at Lower Moreland High School (LMHS) and a member of Boy Scout Troop 208, based at Gloria Dei Church in Huntingdon Valley. Approximately one month ago, Joshua heard that Lower Moreland Township would be holding its annual tree-planting event at the construction site of the new recreational complex, located between the 600 block of Red Lion Road and the athletic fields behind LMHS, as well as along school district property.
“I heard they were planting trees and I wanted to help out,” Joshua said. “I worked with Mr. Woerner.”
Joshua was referring to Lower Moreland Township Public Works director Steve Woerner, who provided guidance for Joshua to organize his own volunteer team, as well as a part of the township’s annual tree-planting event, held April 27.
While the general community-volunteer portion of the event started at 10 a.m., Joshua was able to start a full hour prior with his team of over 20 volunteers.
Joshua’s volunteers were mostly comprised of fellow Boy Scouts of Troop 208 and the troop’s adult leaders, as well as friends from LMHS.
According to the Boy Scouts of America website, the Eagle Scout project seeks to provide service that would be helpful to a religious institution, school or community. Within that project, the Eagle Scout candidate must demonstrate planning and leadership skills.
Once at the tree-planting site, Joshua split the volunteers into small groups to plant the trees, answering questions and visiting each tree-planting area for supervision.
Along with the diverse group of general community volunteers that day, Joshua’s team helped plant the nearly 40 trees throughout the site. Joshua added that he was glad his Eagle Scout project focused on beautifying his hometown.
“After this experience, I’m trying to get my Boy Scout troop to do further community service opportunities in the township,” Joshua said.
As Joshua has already achieved the necessary merit badges and requirements of attaining the rank of Eagle Scout, the completion of his Eagle Scout project sets him to become one of the youngest members of Boy Scout Troop 208 to attain the rank.
Joshua’s father, Dr. David Sirken, Boy Scout Troop 208 committee chairman, was among the adult Boy Scout leaders at the event. Sirken, who is also the Lower Moreland Ward 5 commissioner, said that he was glad his son saw the township’s tree-planting as a way to fulfill his Eagle Scout project.
“It makes me feel so proud of him to bring service back to the community that has given so much to him,” Sirken said.
Lower Moreland Patch will also have articles on the general community tree-planting and cleanup efforts, as well as an update on the incoming athletic and recreational complex.
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