BUTLER TOWNSHIP — Like father, like son – or at least that’s how the saying goes. In the case of father and son Mike and Michael Flannery, that saying seems to fit like a glove, especially after Michael recently followed in his father’s footsteps in earning his Eagle Scout.
Flannery’s project, which began with a modest idea of repairing trail signs at Aullwood Audubon Center, turned into a project so large that officials at Aullwood believe it’s one of the largest, if not the largest, in-kind donation they have ever received.
“It is always special to have Eagle Scouts like Mike and his father come to the farm,” said Aullwood’s Executive Director Charity Krueger. “This was such a significant project and the dedication, thoroughness, and professional way the project was done is such a dream come true for us. With Mike and his father’s assistance, we now have signs that will last many, many years.”
Krueger estimates that the work on the signs saved the Center at least $10,000.
Michael, who will be a junior at Butler High School this fall, said he did not want an easy project.
“We wanted to find the perfect material to make sure the signs stayed in good condition for a long time,” he said. “The project went from 20 signs at first, then up to 50, and eventually 65.”
Another part of the project was using GPS technology to make accurate measurements of the trails that cover the 200+ acre nature preserve. Those measurements ensured accuracy both on the signs and on the Center’s maps.
“We were surprised how far off some of the measurements were,” said Flannery.
Krueger said that the measurements can give those on the trails a sense of security.
“People are now able to come to the sanctuary and enjoy the peace and security of the place,” she said.
Helping Flannery complete the project were other members of Troop 204 which meets at the Cricket Holler Scout Camp on Brantford Road. They included Christopher Pfefferle, Jake Conley, Jeff Labinco, Ryan Conley, Blaine Payton, Seth Allen, Michael Pfefferle, Brad Pfefferle, Ed Florkey, Mike Flannery, James Cook, Lorie Baker, and Jessica Jade.
Much assistance also came from Pat Rice, the Maintenance Manager at Aullwood.
“Pat was a tremendous help,” said Flannery. “Without his help this wouldn’t have gotten done.”
Rice said the project was not easy.
“This project was a logistical nightmare,” said Rice. “This was the most difficult Eagle Project I’ve ever been involved with in 30 years due to the logistics.”
Flannery said that despite the effort required, the project was worth it.
“Throughout the days of working, there was a lot of work and sweat,” said Michael, “but the troop learned how to work together in hot weather conditions.”