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Boy Scout Troop Explores Mingo National Wildlife Refuge
Midwest Region, March 13, 2013
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A group photo of the Boy Scout Troop from Springfield, Missouri before starting the Bluff Trail work.
A group photo of the Boy Scout Troop from Springfield, Missouri before starting the Bluff Trail work. - Photo Credit: Lindsey Landowski / USFWS
Boy Scouts digging out a trench on Bluff Trail to install the water bar.
Boy Scouts digging out a trench on Bluff Trail to install the water bar. - Photo Credit: Lindsey Landowski / USFWS
Taking a break during the hike and looking out from one of the overlooks at Mingo.
Taking a break during the hike and looking out from one of the overlooks at Mingo. - Photo Credit: Peter Rea / USFWS
Some scouts paddling up the Mingo River.
Some scouts paddling up the Mingo River. - Photo Credit: Peter Rea / USFWS

The week of March 11, 2013 a Boy Scout Troop from Springfield, Mo. participated in a series of day activities at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge. The troop camped out at nearby Lake Wappapello and visited the refuge on March 13 and 14 to explore and discover what makes Mingo Refuge so unique to southeast Missouri.

On the first day of their visit, the troop took part in a volunteer project working on the Bluff Trail. This trail starts off at the site of the new visitor center and winds its way down the side of a bluff and joins in with the popular Swamp Boardwalk. Due to the visitor center being under construction, there has been more runoff coming down the hill and crossing the trail. This added runoff has created erosion issues along the length of the trail. To help fix this problem, the Boy Scout troop installed water bars to allow water to pass over the trail without causing erosion. Straw bales were also staked out along the upslope side of the trail to help with this problem. The troop was able to complete the total length of the trail and their efforts will go a long way in maintaining this trail for when the visitor center opens.

 

Following the morning trail work, the troop went out to the west side of the refuge to hike the Ozark Highlands. This gravel road winds through the bluffs and offers spectacular views of the Mingo Basin. One of the highlights during the hike was the opportunity to see an eagle sitting on a nest.

The next day, the Boy Scouts met up with Refuge ranger Peter Rea to take a paddle ride up the Mingo River and out on Monopoly Marsh. Much of the paddle ride goes through Mingo Wilderness Area, which offers a unique chance to experience the serene beauty of the bottomland hardwood forest and open marsh habitat. During the paddle ride the scouts made many exciting discoveries about the plants and wildlife at Mingo National Wildlife Refuge. Overall, the refuge staff and scout troop had a great time during their two day outing on the refuge. Thanks for all of their hard work on the trail!


Contact Info: Peter Rea, 573-222-3589, peter_rea@fws.gov



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