Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131
News ReleaseJanuary 18, 2006
EAGLE SCOUT DONATES INTERPRETIVE KIOSKS TO FURTHER RED WOLF AWARENESS AND APPRECIATION
Photo credit: FWS
Eagle Scout Alec Grubbs built and donated two interpretive kiosks to further red wolf awareness and appreciation. Pictured left to right are project team members: Rosemarie Haskell (chaperone), Henry Gargan, Alec Grubbs, John Sommerville, Josh Hartzog, and Andy Grubbs (chaperone and Alec’s father)
Alec Grubbs, active member of Boy Scout Troop 820 from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, began planning his Eagle Scout Project, the design and construction of two red wolf interpretive kiosks, over two years ago. After 375 man-hours of planning, fund-raising, and construction, the project culminated on Saturday, January 7, when the two kiosks with interpretive panels were delivered to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Manteo, North Carolina.
The idea for Alec’s project formed as a result of his accompanying his father who had taken a younger brother’s Cub Scout Pack to a red wolf howling some years earlier. When the time came to select an Eagle Project, he called the US Fish and Wildlife Service Office. In the Red Wolf Recovery Program Office, Kathy Whidbee fielded the call from Alec asking for project ideas to support red wolf awareness. She suggested building interpretive kiosks to educate the public more about red wolves. Since the kiosks may be used on or off refuges, the Red Wolf Coalition was determined to be the most practical recipient of the donation. The Coalition is a citizen-support organization for red wolf recovery.
After many months of phone calls and coordination with the “Wolf Lady,” as the scouts fondly referred to Ms. Whidbee, Alec had a plan. He would lead a project to build two kiosks from pressure-treated wood and cedar shingles, each measuring 10’ wide by 10’ tall, weighing 650 lbs. a piece and containing three 24” x 36” Plexiglas display panels. The $800 cost would be supported by fundraising dollars from the Eagle Scout accounts, a $350 donation from Alec, and additional dollars from the sale of red wolf hats and shirts sold to the scouts and friends at cost by the Red Wolf Coalition.
The Red Wolf Coalition, headquartered in Columbia, North Carolina, is very grateful for the contribution. Kim Wheeler, Executive Director for the Coalition, commented, “We are so proud of the Alec and the other scouts. They provided the hard work and perseverance that was needed to complete this project. The kiosks not only look great but are also structurally sound. It would take a major hurricane to damage them, so we’re hopeful they will last for years to come.“ Site locations for the kiosks are currently being determined.
Alec’s comment: “I have gained a new appreciation for kiosk construction! This was a team effort, and we are pleased to have contributed to the red wolf recovery effort.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 63 Fish and Wildlife Management offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.