by Sara Holtz, Hornaday Adviser
Pack 1530 in Powhatan District earned the prestigious William T. Hornaday Unit Award, one of several awards that honor William T. Hornaday, the head taxidermist at the Smithsonian who helped establish the National Zoo, and was the first Director of what is today known as the Bronx Zoo. He is widely credited with saving the American bison from extinction.
Units earn the Hornaday Unit award when at least 60% of registered youth participate in a substantial conservation project that meets the rigorous standards of the Hornaday program.
Pack 1530 participated in an invasive species control project led by Boy Scout John H. of Troop 159, who is working towards the coveted Hornaday Badge. The project address the growth of Japanese stiltgrass as an invasive species at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, Virginia. Japanese stiltgrass is considered a highly invasive plant because it is not native, spreads aggressively, and crowds out native plants. John’s project aims to manually remove stiltgrass from an area identified by Frying Pan Farm Park staff, planting of native grasses and plants in their place, and future use of that area for educational purposes with youth visitors to the Park.
“Unusual prizes are won only by unusual service”
-Dr. William T. Hornaday
Pack 1530’s Cub Scouts, parents, siblings, and alumni participated in 5 work days in August and September at the Park to pull Japanese stiltgrass. Pack 1530 also helped educate the public about the project and about invasive plant control by having a booth at their school’s Open House in August. They will continue to participate in this project by volunteering in subsequent phases to replace invasive stiltgrass with native species, which will help ensure sustainability of the project.
For more information about William T. Hornaday awards in NCAC, go to www.NCACBSA.org/Hornaday. Our council’s Conservation Committee includes more than 20 Hornaday Advisers who are ready to assist Scouts and units in pursuing significant conservation projects to earn Hornaday awards.
Don’t see an adviser in your District? Contact Conservation Committee Chair Will Rodger through the webpage and he’ll help you find someone!