By Jenet Krol
ROCKLEDGE - Some say it's hard to improve upon the past, but that is just what Garrett Lansing has done with his Eagle Scout project.
Garrett, 15, oversaw the creation of a 2,000-foot-long nature trail at Rowell's Heritage Farm in Mims.
The Heritage Farm, operated by Bob and Dolores Rowell, is a replica of a Florida Cracker settlement, and offers educational opportunities about Florida's past and its earliest settlers.
When Garrett learned that the Rowells desired a nature trail at their farm to teach visitors about the native flora and fauna of the area, he organized more than 20 volunteers from his church, his school and his Boy Scout group, Troop 304 of Rockledge, to help out.
"I thought this would be another way for people to learn while at the heritage park," said Garrett.
As part of earning the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest ranking in the Boy Scouts of America, scouts must complete a project that will benefit the community.
The group put in more than 170 hours creating the 8-foot-wide trail, cutting down trees with chainsaws and the smaller brush with handheld tools, said Garrett.
They also created 12 tree markers, identifying trees and providing information about the species, which Garrett researched.
"We marked wild citrus, hickory trees and maple trees," he said.
As part of the project, Garrett was also responsible for obtaining donations.
The Rockledge chapter of the Knights of Columbus, Publix and Wal-Mart donated food for the volunteers who built the trail.
Garrett, who has been a Boy Scout for four years, said he enjoys the friendships he's made and the camping opportunities.
His father, Kent Lansing, troop master of Troop 304, said he is very proud of his son's achievement with the project.
"He met the need of a nonprofit organization and did a great job leading the way, working and getting donations," he said.