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Washington Works Nature Trail gets birding upgrades

Troop 12 Scout Bryce Himelrick stands with the shelter bench frame he constructed with volunteers at the Washington Works Nature Trail. The bench will provide a covered viewing area in the trail’s upper meadow. (Photo Provided)

PARKERSBURG — The Washington Works Nature Trail south of Parkersburg is getting the attention of a local Boy Scout for his Eagle Scout initiative.

Scout Bryce Himelrick with several scouts and volunteers have installed new owl and bluebird nesting boxes to improve habitat and encourage species expansion. A new viewing venue also has been established.

“There aren’t many great birding sites in our area and, while I was hiking with my parents last year, it occurred to me that the trail’s upper meadow would be a great place to do my project,” Himelrick said.

Himelrick’s parents, Cheryl and John Himelrick of Parkersburg, frequently use the trail, sharing their love of bird-watching with their son and growing his interest in the hobby.

In addition to the nesting boxes, the Scout team also installed a sheltered bench to provide cover for enthusiasts to watch without disturbing the birds.

John and Cheryl Himelrick of Parkersburg and their son Bryce worked with community volunteers to construct several bluebird and owl boxes now in place at the Washington Works Nature Trail just south of the West Virginia 892-U.S. 50 interchange in Wood County. (Photo Provided)

The project is a required step in Himelrick’s career in Scouting.

“Bryce has been in Scouting since he was 7 years old and I’m very proud of the work he has done to achieve Eagle, Scouting’s highest rank,” said Troop 12 Scout Master Christopher Burk.

David Johnson, a Chemours retiree and project mentor, was instrumental in helping Himelrick with the design.

“Dave has devoted many hours to working with Scouts on Eagle projects that have made this nature trail accessible, interesting, and educational,” Himelrick said. “I’m very appreciative.”

The trail is open to the public every day during daylight hours. It is accessible from W.Va. 892 about a mile south of U.S. 50 south of Parkersburg,

The Washington Works Nature Trail is open to the public during daylight hours every day of the year. (Photo Provided)

Troop 12 is sponsored by Stout Memorial United Methodist Church, Broad Street, Parkersburg.

David Johnson, left, helps with a downed tree near the new birding venue at the Washington Works Nature Trail. Johnson is a Chemours retiree helping Bryce Himelrick with the Scouting project at the trail. (Photo Provided)

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