Scout Project Focuses on Improving Wrentham’s Trails
Recently, the Trout Pond and Knuckup Hill hiking areas in the center of Wrentham got an upgrade when Braden Kennedy, a Troop 131 Scout, targeted them for his Eagle Scout project.
Kennedy improved many aspects of the area, including making the trails more engaging for residents with the addition of colored trail markers, clearing hiking paths, cleaning up the fishing and picnic areas at Trout Pond, designing and installing a set of maps, and appealing to younger hikers with the installation of a new trail game.
For those not familiar with these trails, Trout Pond and Knuckup Hill (sometimes referred to as Sweatt Hill) can be accessed from the Sweatt fields, the Senior Center parking lot, or the Wrentham Building Inspector’s office.
As part of the project, Kennedy mapped out all the trails using GPS and then worked with Printmaster to design a detailed map of the area. Maps were printed on metal signs and Kennedy installed map stands at the three main access points.
Hikers are encouraged to take a photo of the map at the start of their hike or use the QR code on the map to use the free All Trails application on their smartphone. The maps highlight the Knuckup Hill trails which are marked with orange tree markers and the Trout Pond trails marked in blue. In addition, several notable areas of the hiking area are highlighted on the map, including the old Wrentham Pumphouse, the Trout Pond Overlook, and the “Big Rock.” Ten uniquely painted wooden trout have also been attached to the trees along the trails so young hikers can play “Spot the Trout” as they hike.
Kennedy completed this project during the height of COVID-19 and relied on the support of fellow Troop 131 Scouts, Scoutmasters Ed Crisci, Rich Johnson and Steve McNeil, as well as friends and family to complete the project.
Kennedy worked closely with the Wrentham Conservation Commission and the Wrentham Department of Public Works and would like to acknowledge Darryl Luce and Michael Lavin for their assistance. In addition, Braden would like to thank the following local businesses and organizations for supporting his project: Wrentham Cooperative Bank, the Wrentham Holly Club, Wrentham Youth Baseball Softball Association, Mike McGill at Distinguished Floors, and Tim Connors at Printmaster. This project also wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the many individual community donors who supported him at a time when traditional fundraising activities would not have been possible. A special thanks goes to Tracy Sylven for her helpfulness in getting the word out about the project.
Braden Kennedy is a junior at Xaverian Brothers High School and is a member of Wrentham Troop 131 of the Mayflower Council. Through Scouting, Kennedy has also completed National Youth Leadership (NYLT) Training and served as an instructor at the NYLT Leadership Academy held at Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia this summer. For a Scout to reach the rank of Eagle, many other requirements must be completed in addition to completing a community service project. These requirements include earning at least 21 merit badges, which signifies the mastery of Scout-related skills, and holding leadership roles within the troop. Nationally, less than 7 percent of Boy Scouts achieve the Eagle rank. Kennedy was awarded his Eagle Scout rank on July 22.