Eagle Scout leads fencing & invasive plant removal at Abington Friends School (AFS)!

Jamilee Hoffman
Jul 27, 2023

Eagle Scout WP Featured Photo for blog

TTF’s very first restoration project broke ground along Jenkintown Creek as part of the groundbreaking Delaware River Watershed Initiative at the creek’s headwaters at Abington Friends School in 2014, nine years ago! Our award-winning work with AFS and the Meeting continued along this creek reach for a number of years. We implemented a number of features, including rain gardens and riparian buffers, to filter and slow down runoff into the creek, cool the creek, and to create habitat.

As with all of project sites, we continue to visit, monitor, maintain, and partner with our (very first) collaborators in any way we can. We appreciate the work of volunteers like Drini to keep up with the ongoing work of maintaining invasive plant growth and removing deer fencing when it’s time to do so! Drini’s restoration work referenced below occurred in May-April 2023.

This blog is written by Eagle Scout, Drini Hamza.

The Eagle Scout service project is a crucial step every Scout must take in their journey to the Eagle Rank, a rank achieved by only 4% of all scouts across the country. The service project is designed as a way to put a Scout’s leadership and ability to serve their community to the test.

Upon attaining the Life Scout rank in my troop and being allowed to prepare for a service project, I immediately reached out to the Abington Friends School and Meetinghouse community expressing my interest in offering my services.

Having gone to the school for three years, I became familiar with the school and Meetinghouse grounds, from the cemetery to the creek that runs through both properties, as I visited them regularly during my downtime.

Something that always crossed my mind during my regular visits was the nature of the trails alongside the creek; it didn’t take long for me to focus my project on the matter. I reached out to the Meetinghouse site manager and then was connected with Ryan Neuman, TTF’s Upstream Conservation Leader, who was able to help me put together a project plan to remove old fencing and varieties of invasive plants.

After receiving approval from my troop’s district board to continue the project, I began to reach out to Abington Friends School students, friends, and my BSA troop, Troop 18 to aid in volunteering. Although the first initial dates got rained out, we were finally able to get boots on the ground the following weekend.

I divided the volunteers into three groups; one group pulled out the fencing, one packed it, and the other took care of removing invasive plant species. Everything ran smoothly. We worked with a variety of tools supplied by TTF and my troop was successful in removing all the fencing and invasive plants.

I would like to extend a special thank you to Troop 18 and its leaders, to Abington Friends School, the Abington Meetinghouse, and the Tookany/Tacony Frankford Watershed Partnership
The photo on the right is a garter snake
Do you have lots of energy, a love for the environment, and an interest in community service? Learn more and sign up for our volunteer opportunities here. Contact Ryan@ttfwatershed.org or 215-744-1853 to discuss your interest and our needs! 

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