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Trail markers installed at Mason Neck as part of Eagle Scout project

Picture yourself hiking along a three-mile trail through Mason Neck Park looking over sweeping views of 250 acres of Great Marsh. Now imagine being in the forest and having no idea how to find your way back to your car. That’s the type of situation Life Scout, Noah Ventura, wanted to help visitors to Mason Neck Park avoid.

When Noah Ventura began looking for a service project for his Eagle Scout rank, he wanted to do something that would enhance the community. One of the first things he thought about was Mason Neck Park. Noah and his family often use Mason Neck Park, the first national wildlife refuge established specifically for the protection of the bald eagle.

Ventura worked with Rosalind Wu, Visitor Services Manager of the Potomac River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) Complex, on the design and placement of the markers. Then he had to get his plan approved by his Eagle Project Review Board. Once that was done, Ventura started working on the signs and spent over 300 hours in almost 10 months on the project.

The new signage will help visitors better navigate the Woodmarsh Trail Loop. The results are 19 signs in 6 different locations that are designed to blend with the environment, with an earth-tone color palette.

Ventura, a student at Carl Sandburg Middle School, said he’s proud of the project and what it means to the community. He is putting together his final report on the entire project that will be reviewed by the Eagle Board of Review before he can get his Eagle Scout Rank.

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