More than 20 of Connor Dillon’s troop members participated in a stream clean up event Saturday. As part of his Eagle Scout project, Dillon created a Missouri Stream Team - a group of community members who are concerned about Missouri streams.
There is a stream that runs behind Connor Dillon’s Blue Springs home. Running into Blue Springs Lake to the west, the stream is full of natural wildlife including crayfish, frogs and even a few fish. Trees line its banks.
But Dillon, a student at the Blue Springs Freshman Center this fall, has been noticing something else too. The stream is dirty and full of trash, both small and large. A scout with Troop 332 in Blue Springs, he knew he had to plan and organize a service project to receive his Eagle Scout Award. So what better a project than to clean up the stream in his own neighborhood?
“I thought it would be terrific to be able to clean up the stream,” he said. “It will help a lot of people as well as the wildlife who live in this area. This stream runs directly into the lake (Blue Springs Lake), and so many people use it. Think of the people we can help by just putting in a little effort to clean up the trash.”
More than 20 of Dillon’s troop members participated in the clean-up event Saturday. As part of his Eagle Scout project, Dillon created a Missouri Stream Team - a group of community members who are concerned about Missouri streams. It provides those who are interested an opportunity to get involved in river conservation. Organized through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Missouri Stream team materials to clean up streams were provided such as reusable bags, work gloves and t-shirts.
In addition to DNR, Dillon also received assistance from Jackson County Parks and Recreation, and 1-800-GOT-JUNK donated a truck to haul off the trash and waste that was collected.
“My hope is that this is a project we can do again and again,” he said. “We can keep the stream team within the troop and therefore keep cleaning up the stream. Once I am gone, I hope someone else will take over and continue to clean up our environment.”
In addition the service project, there are several other steps Dillon must complete before earning an Eagle Scout Award. This includes earning more than 20 merit badges, remaining active in the troop and appearing before a board of review. He should have all of the requirements completed by the end of August.
“I am so impressed with what Connor has accomplished. He has worked very hard,” said Toni Dillon, Connor’s mother. “I was actually surprised when he came up with this project, and I tried to talk him out of it. I thought it would be a lot of work to clean up this stream. But for him to care about it that much and for him to get bothered by what people have put in here, is so amazing. He is a great kid.”
Among items found in the stream were oil barrels, trash, storm debris and even a barrel full of liquefied petroleum.
Alex Fullerton, a student at the Freshman Center and a member of Dillon’s troop, said he was happy to help a friend on his Eagle Scout project, the same way Dillon helped Fullerton.
“I am not really surprised that Connor decided to do this for his project because he lives near here, and I know he likes to hike in these woods. I think it really bothered him to see all the trash,” he said. “It feels good to help because it is a great way to make an impact on the community where we live.”