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Student creates outdoor learning center at Jaffrey Grade School for Eagle project

  • Trevor Pierce, a 16-year-old sophomore at Conant High School, recently completed his Eagle Scout project - an outdoor education learning center outside Jaffrey Grade School. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • Trevor Pierce, a 16-year-old sophomore at Conant High School, recently completed his Eagle Scout project - an outdoor education learning center outside Jaffrey Grade School. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • Trevor Pierce, a 16-year-old sophomore at Conant High School, recently completed his Eagle Scout project - an outdoor education learning center outside Jaffrey Grade School. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • Trevor Pierce, a 16-year-old sophomore at Conant High School, recently completed his Eagle Scout project - an outdoor education learning center outside Jaffrey Grade School. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • Trevor Pierce, a 16-year-old sophomore at Conant High School, recently completed his Eagle Scout project - an outdoor education learning center outside Jaffrey Grade School. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—

  • Trevor Pierce, a 16-year-old sophomore at Conant High School, recently completed his Eagle Scout project - an outdoor education learning center outside Jaffrey Grade School. Courtesy photo—

  • Trevor Pierce, a 16-year-old sophomore at Conant High School, recently completed his Eagle Scout project - an outdoor education learning center outside Jaffrey Grade School. Courtesy photo—

  • Trevor Pierce, a 16-year-old sophomore at Conant High School, recently completed his Eagle Scout project - an outdoor education learning center outside Jaffrey Grade School. Courtesy photo—

  • Trevor Pierce, a 16-year-old sophomore at Conant High School, recently completed his Eagle Scout project - an outdoor education learning center outside Jaffrey Grade School. Courtesy photo—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Friday, June 08, 2018

Conant High School sophomore Trevor Pierce went back to his roots when digging for inspiration for his Eagle Scout project. 

The 16-year-old Jaffrey resident knew from the start that he wanted a project centered around his community, ultimately deciding on building an outdoor learning center for Jaffrey Grade School. 

“I went [to Jaffrey Grade School] and I thought there would be meaning in a project I was personally attached to,” said Pierce, who attended JGS as a child. “I could build a bridge in Dublin, and that would be nice and people would benefit from that, but if I had attachment to it I knew I would have the motivation to get it done.”

Pierce first started work on his project in November 2016, a process that started largely with meetings staff members and the parent’s group of the school to determine what elements were needed in the learning center. 

The center – which was built with the help of more than 40 volunteers over the course of two days in May – is located in front of the school where an old garden was and includes stump seating, a rustic table, and plants that attract butterflies. 

“If you looked at the garden as it was, it had been obsolete for over twenty years,” said Pierce. “This is something I’m going to come into with no experience and I’m going to tear out this big garden and put stuff in and make it look really nice – it was a monumental task.”

A key component of the project for Pierce was trying to get as much as he could donated. After 90-hours of logged time in emails alone, Pierce was able to get 100-percent of the project – a cost of about $10,000 – donated.

“It’s always special when students come back… I love these connections in the community,” said Jaffrey Grade School Principal Susan Shaw-Sarles. “The work went so smoothly, everything exceeded my expectations.”

Shaw-Sarles said students have already taken advantage of the new space, both before, during and afterschool. Shaw-Sarles said there are also opportunities for classes to use the space for learning during the school day. 

With the project compete, Pierce is now working on gathering everything he needs for a presentation to the Eagle board, which should happen within the month. Pierce said he is proud of completing the project and grateful for learning project management skills and being able to leave a lasting impact on his old school.

“I’m sure there are a lot of kids that went to the grade school that are Eagle Scouts, but none were given the opportunity to give back in such a way that I think will really have an impact,” said Pierce. “It’s going to be here and it’s something I hope will be maintained for a while because of what it symbolizes for me in that this is what scouting and my life has led me to be able to do.”

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.