SCARSDALE, N.Y. – Although it’s been in existence for a scant five months, Cub Scout Pack 24 in Scarsdale has been hard at work improving the community around them.
Since its inception in January, Pack 24 has completed a variety of small projects in southern Westchester. Last weekend, they finished their first major project, creating a habitat for wildlife across from Our Lady of Fatima Church.
The habitat includes natural food sources, clean water, cover and places for the insects and animals to raise their young. The troops also spread seeds and put plants in the ground to attract even more wildlife.
The Grotto of Our Lady of Fatima Church now features a brand new bench for reflection, bird feeders, new foliage and flowers, birdhouses and other feeders to provide nourishment to the creatures in the area.
Lisa Annunziato, the chair of Pack 24, said they started researching projects in January, before surveying the site for its viability in March. The project was only finalized a few weeks ago before being completed on May 4.
In honor of their hard work, the National Wildlife Federation recognized Pack 24 for creating an official “Certified Wildlife Habitat.”
“(The adults) did most of the cleaning and prep work the day before, to keep it as interesting, and safe, as possible for the kids,” she said. “We explained to the boys what each step was as we were going, so it was an educational project for them that will benefit the people of the parish and community.”
Annunziato said that Pack 24 – which currently is comprised of just seven children - is an inclusion unit that includes some troops with special needs, all of whom were integral in helping complete the project in just one weekend. She noted that the project allowed them to achieve two awards, the Conservation Good Turn Award and the Messengers of Peace Award.
“Ours is a traditional Cub Scout program that is open to everyone. If anyone is having some difficulty, then we help them along as a team,” she said. “Our Lady of Fatima Church gave our scouts a wonderful opportunity to volunteer in a beautiful project in a special setting. We all worked as one to do everything together and finish this project.”
David Mizejewski, a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation, said the work Pack 24 did is invaluable to his organization and the communities they serve.
“Providing a home for wildlife in our communities, whether at home or in schools, businesses or parks, is the demonstration of a healthy and active ecosystem,” he said in a statement. “There is no more rewarding way to stay connected to nature right outside your door.”