WENDELL — When Dylan Seagroves constructed an environmental trail at East Wake High to earn his Eagle Scout award, he also opened the door on an opportunity for students to take their studies outside.
“Students are already using it,” said Seagroves, a rising senior, referring to the trail that boasts a wide array of flora and fauna. For his forensic science class, Seagroves “planted evidence outside” for a crime scene and his classmates had to study the clues to unlock the mystery. “They had to identify the marks and review what they saw,” Seagroves said.
In addition, an environmental class walked the trail and they had to study and identify 10 different types of leaves and trees, he added.
Dorothy Holley, a science teacher at EWHS, said she has led her students on “relevant place-based” labs on the trail. And another class made relative humidity measurements and compared the findings based on the population densities.
Seagroves said he got the idea for the environmental trail after speaking with Holley. “For Eagle Scout, you are looking for a project that helps the community. She (Holley) isn’t one of my teachers but her son is in my troop (Troop 365 which meets at Knightdale United Methodist). She told me about this path at the school, the Warrior Mile, which at one time was used by the cross-country team but a bad ice storm left the trail in a mess. I sort of created a new section that branched off this trail,” he said.
To achieve the coveted Eagle status, Scouts have to lead and direct a project – not necessarily do all the dirty work themselves. “You have to show that you can lead,” Seagroves said.“You have to prove that you can successfully lead others to follow your directions.” Other members of his Boy Scout troop moved dirt, picked up rocks and cleared branches to establish the trail.
After he completes his senior year, Seagroves said he hopes to join the Navy and then use the GI bill to attend college and major in either psychology or culinary arts. The Eagle Scout project has had its’ high points, but it didn’t lead him to consider a career that takes him outdoors. Not really, he said, adding he saw how difficult it is to keep an entire science class outside and focused. “Too many people with allergies,” he noted.