Scouts increase the usage of nature preserve

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The old adage of “if you build it, they will come” seems to be true at Castellow Hammock Preserve and Nature Center. During the past year, four Boy Scouts and volunteers from Troop 616 completed their Eagle Scout projects at the park. Castellow Hammock is one of the first environmental education centers in Miami-Dade County and offers programs for home-school groups, public schools, Scouts and civic organizations.

The park is getting more use, especially from large groups since the improvements have been completed, according to Roger Hammer, the onsite park ranger.

George B. Casey moved the Fire Ring used by groups to a safer area; he enlarged the size of the ring and built a horseshoe shaped arrangement of bench seating around the fire pit to accommodate those large groups. Months later, Patrick Walkington enhanced the pit by permanently cementing the stones that encircle the fire ring.

Mario A. Cuello built and installed a self-standing roofed wooden information kiosk. The new kiosk is located in the Scouts and overnight camping area. It is intended to house general Scouting and safety information, as well as water buckets.

Julian Enjamio and his helpers built two fences. The first and longer of the two fences dresses up the pathway that leads to the nature center and serves to “funnel” visitors to the center. The second and smaller fence escorts visitors into the nature trail in the natural hammock portion of the park.

Castellow Hammock Preserve and Nature Center is a 112-acre park and preserve located at 22301 SW 162 Ave. Boy Scout Troop 616 is chartered to St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 12125 SW 107 Ave. in Kendall

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