Slater Park gets a new “Airbnb-ee” | News
PAWTUCKET – In an effort to help endangered bee populations, 18-year-old Abby Schwab built and installed three “bee hotels” in Slater Park this winter, in conjunction with the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawtucket.
A member of Troop 1846 Attleboro, Schwab, of Pawtucket, completed the project and earned Eagle Scout status, making history as a member of the Narragansett Council, America’s first female Eagle Scout class. She is one of a handful of young women across the United States to make up the first class of female Eagle Scouts, according to a statement. Becoming an Eagle Scout, Schwab told The Breeze, “is special to me because Scouting has been in my family for a long time.” She added that she was proud to write history and pave the way for other young girls.
Tim McCandless, CEO of Narragansett Council, Boy Scouts of America, said he was honored to recognize Schwab for earning the rank of Eagle Scout. “Along the journey to Eagle Scout, youth learn new skills, learn to overcome obstacles, develop leadership skills, commit to a code of ethics, and serve their community,” he said. declared. “These benefits are invaluable for everyone, and we’re thrilled they’re now available to women.”
Conservationist Schwab said that for her project she chose to make pollinator boxes, which provide endangered species of bees with a permanent home to nest and repopulate.
“I hope this will preserve our local bee population,” she said. “Many species of bees are endangered, but they are very important for our environment. It would be great to see them repopulate thanks to this.
With members of her troupe, she designed and built three 1-by-1-foot boxes and filled them with untreated, unpressurized wood. The boxes were placed on metal poles and set up around the park.
Schwab said she lives near Slater Park, which is why she chose it as her location. During the planning stages of the project, she said she reached out to Parks and Recreation staff, who offered suggestions and helped install them. The building and assembly process took two days in December, she said, and the boxes will stay in place for as long as they last.
John Blais, director of the city’s parks and recreation department, told The Breeze that one pollinator box is located at the Friendship Garden in the park and the other two are at the Daggett Farm near the greenhouse/garden maintained by URI’s master gardeners. Schwab has also created an educational tip to explain what the boxes are for any curious member of the public.
Last July, Blais said, Schwab approached him with the idea and, as an Eagle Scout himself, he backed the project. “It’s a good thing,” he said, adding that he is thrilled when local youth want to come to the park and do something to benefit the community.
Blais said he contacted the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and members of the RI Beekeepers Association would visit the park and keep track of the data to see how well the project was doing.
Parks and Recreation staff are very proud of Schwab for achieving Eagle Scout status, Blais said, adding that it’s “wonderful that we can be a part of it.”
Schwab, a freshman at the University of New Haven in Connecticut, said her favorite part of the project was working with other people. “It felt like a community effort,” she said.
Troop 1846 Attleboro in Attleboro, Mass., is in the process of recruiting new female members for 2021. For any girls interested in joining BSA scouts, Schwab said she encourages them to attend a troop meeting and To give it a try. Scouting takes a lot of hard work, she says, but it’s worth it.