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By Elisa Royce
For the Jersey County Journal
Birds, Birds, Birds…Long known for exceptional opportunities to view everything from colorful ducks to majestic eagles, the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge now features a new observation viewing blind. Think “yard shed” with window openings and blacked out interior so the wildlife can’t see you. This new amenity is Eagle Scout candidate Hayden Markert’s contribution to bettering the Riverbend Community.
The project itself took over a year of planning, design, fundraising, and construction all led by Hayden as he pursues his eagle scout rank. A number of local businesses, family members, friends, fellow scouts and the Refuge donated services, materials, and labor that helped make his vision a reality.
Hayden, age 16, is a member of Troop 7 of Godfrey, part of the Greater St. Louis Area Council – Boys Scouts of America. A dedication event was hosted Saturday from 10am – 12pm to celebrate the project success and to show his appreciation to all of the volunteers and donors who made his ambitious Eagle Scout project possible.
The Scouting program endeavors to teach young people to be good citizens and accomplishes this with a number of merit badges, education programs, volunteer events, team building exercises, and leadership opportunities.
Strategically located along the Mississippi Flyway, Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge hosts vast numbers of diverse resident and migratory bird species. Be sure to plan a road trip and check out Hayden’s new contribution to the Refuge! The new viewing blind is a short walk from the Refuge headquarters parking lot.
Hayden offered special thanks to the Refuge Manager, Charlie Deutsch, for his vision and long standing dedication to bettering the community and to Joe Pocklington of Alvie’s Towing in Jerseyville for donating his time and resources to move the viewing blind to its permanent home.