GRANVILLE, Tenn. – Upkeep of recreation areas, campgrounds and hiking trails often depends on volunteers who care deeply about the nation’s natural resources and want them to there for their children and generations to come. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District’s EAGLE Class learned that important lesson of volunteerism today when they rolled up their sleeves and got their boots dirty at one of Cordell Hull Lake’s primitive horse trail campgrounds.
The 16 Corps employees in the “Employees Achieving Greatness and Leadership Excellence” class installed barbeque grills, fire pits, trash cans, lantern posts, and bird boxes, as well as, painted and picked up trash along the road.
The primitive campground and its adjoining trails have provided quality outdoor recreational opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts for over 30 years. However, increasing budget constraints have made overall upkeep of the recreation area harder to maintain explained Christopher Vega, contract inspector at Cordell Hull Lake and 2012 EAGLE Class participant.
“This area is actually used quite a bit by the horse people around here in the community,” said Vega. “We haven’t been able to get very much for them and this is really going to help them out.”
“I think it’s very beneficial that we came today,” said Amanda Rutherford, accountant and 2012 Eagle Class coordinator. “We have just made it nicer for the campers at the campsites when they come down to camp.”
Students had to select and coordinate this volunteer activity, and after a day of hard work, many said they had a great sense of accomplishment.
Tyler Matthews, natural resource specialist and 2012 EAGLE Class participant said that the in house service project was a success and the EAGLE program has been very beneficial for his career.
“It’s offered some great opportunities to learn the different elements of the District to gain leadership skills and try something different,” said Matthews. “I would advise anybody that gets the opportunity to join in on the EAGLE program. It’s definitely a great opportunity and it’s awesome.”
Students involved in the EAGLE program receive instruction internally at Nashville District headquarters located in the Estes Kefauver Federal Building and externally at Belmont University. Instruction includes district orientation, (Division Chief’s leadership philosophy briefs, and office overviews); generic skill building (Communication, self-development, interview techniques,) career management and leadership skills (team building, conflict resolution, time management).
Janet Smith, commander’s secretary and 2012 EAGLE assistant coordinator said that the second of two required service projects within the Eagle Program would occur in October.
“The next EAGLE project will be their outside (the agency) service project,” said Smith. “They are going to be working at Operation Stand Down, in Nashville. My understanding is that it is an organization that supports veterans.”
For more news, information and updates please follow the Nashville District on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps and Cordell Hull Lake at http://www.facebook.com/cordellhulllake.