My name is Thomas Meehan and I am a 16 year old Eagle Scout Candidate currently working on my Eagle Project for The Town of Orange. I have been involved planning the project for about a year now, and began actual work on the trail early this August. My project involves renovating The Howard Brooks Trail, part of Race Brook Tract and the surrounding areas such as the parking lot. So far, with the help of Boy Scout Troop 721 and my family I have made excellent progress. I have cleared out a large amount of invasive plants from along the trail such as Poison Ivy and Virginia Creeper. I have also cleared out much of the overgrowth and low-hanging branches that was once obscuring the trail, making it not only look much better but also making the trail much more accessible. Once most of the unwanted plants were taken out, I got The Orange Fire Dept. involved to power wash the benches and kiosks found along the trail. Since there is no water source at the trail it was necessary to use a fire engine to run the power washers. Around the same time, we cleaned up all of the metal signs along the trail as well as took some gravel to cover a short path leading from the parking lot to the main trails. Once all of this clean up was over, I began the next step, planting. So far we have planted and mulched several areas with about 90 or so native plants.
This Saturday, the 24th I completed the project by planting the remainder of the 100+ plants used for the project . Due to the scale of this workday, I received help from my Troop and family, but also some students from Amity High.
As far as background for the trail goes, the trail was designed not only to be handicap accessible but also to be educational, hence me putting in all the flowers and signs saying what they are. The trail is named after Howard D. Brooks, former Superintendent of the Amity Regional School District and Chairman of the Southwestern Regional Water Authority for 13 years.