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Eagle Scout Helps Environment

Ben Messenger completes two-part project Eagle Scout project.

The Little Rocky Run Watershed off of Braddock Road in Centreville is one step safer from erosion thanks to Ben Messenger, 18, of Manassas, who recently completed his Eagle Scout project — a riparian buffer repair, designed to stop erosion.

"It won't look like a big rut," says Ben, who will start his senior year in the fall at Osbourn Park High, "not run down [anymore]." With the completion of his project, Ben has earned the status of Eagle Scout — the highest rank in the Boy Scouts.

Ned Foster, the leader of Ben's Troop 1371, thinks Ben deserved the honor: "He deserves some recognition," says Foster. "He did a great job."

Ben, who is a certified EMT, chose the project because it was something he thought the community would need: "It was a good project because it wasn't too big or too small."

The project which brought in 17 volunteers and help from a professional, Judy Okay, who works as a State Urban Forester, was the second part of an Eagle Scout project started by Matt Duncan of the same troop.

Re-building the tributary entailed building and filling step ponds with fabric and granite rock, which prevents water from causing further erosion to the grass, and planting red twig dogwoods to prevent rising water from eroding areas outside of the step ponds.

"I learned about organization," says Ben on what he gained from the project. "How to show leadership, and not to put [things] off ... but definitely leadership."

Ben has been a Boy Scout for six years and says that earning the Eagle Scout is "something [Boy Scouts] have for life." He hopes his new skills learned from his project will help him to become a paramedic.