Bird, Bat houses for Arboretum

Published 10:24 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2009

An automobile accident was not enough to keep one Boy Scout from working towards Eagle Scout status.

Troop 357 member David Southern was involved in a car accident on March 29, where one arm and both of his legs were broken. With only a few weeks left before his 18th birthday, he wanted to complete his project to become an Eagle Scout, said his mother Cindy Southern.

David Southern said he got the idea to make bird and bat houses for the Crosby Arboretum prior to his accident from talking with Arboretum grounds and maintenance manager Terry Johnson. Unable to make them himself while wearing casts on the majority of his limbs, David Southern enlisted the help of his fellow Boy Scouts in troop 357. In six hours on one day, nine or ten of his fellow scouts pooled their efforts to make the houses, said Eagle Committee Chair Diane Odle.

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“Rather than give up at his age, he did it,” Odle said.

The first of the bird houses was put up by David Southern’s fellow troop member John Odle on Wednesday. Johnson said the rest will be installed around the arboretum at a later date.

With high school graduation coming up, David Southern said he is planning to attend Pearl River Community College to start on an accounting degree.