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Boy Scouts Clear a Path to Clifton Elementary

About 60 people gathered together in Clifton last Saturday to assist Boy Scout Troops 811 and 832 in clearing and lengthening a walking path to Clifton Elementary School from a bridge that leads to Main Street. The project was part of Troop 811's Eagle Scout project.

Led by Boy Scout Eric Olavson, a 16-year-old from Herndon, the project took two months to organize but was accomplished in only 3 1/2 hours with the assistance of friends, family, church members and fellow Scouts and leaders pitching in here in there.

"What the Scouts do is invaluable" said Clifton Mayor Jim Chesley. "We depend on Scout troops to help us accomplish things [in Clifton]."

Former Scouts projects in Clifton include building the welcome sign at the entrance to Clifton and a beautification project near the caboose.

Chesley, a former Scout, suggested the idea to Eric who needed an Eagle Scout project. It required a total of 100 man hours from the Boy Scouts and had to be approved by the District Eagle Board.

Eric organized the 60 volunteers with their needed supplies —giving each person weed wackers, rakes, shovels and mulch to make the path a safe walkway and to clear away shrubbery, debris and trees.

James Larson provided a bush hog that cleared the path of bushes and weeds, and "saved us hours of digging," said Carla Olavson, mother of Eric.

Church families from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Chantilly and Franklin ward lent their support to the project. There was the Pacheco family who brought six people to assist in the clearing of trees and shrubbery.

"It's great to have the family all together for a good cause," said father, Ralph Pacheco, member of the Franklin Ward.

This project — the third Eagle Scout project organized in Clifton — was a first for Troop 811, which split from Troop 832 in December. Troop 811, led by Barry Howell, is supported by the Franklin Ward.

"I think these boys will be able to come down and in 50 years still see [the trail] here," said Scoutmaster for 11 years, Mark Gibb.

Carla Olavson, Eric's mother, said, "We are so grateful for the town people and members of the Chantilly and Franklin ward and for the county who donated the mulch and brought it in and on site."