The Explorer Magazine Winter/Spring 2022 - Page 23

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT Dustin Minnick

We continue to receive help from volunteers who have a passion to serve their community in contributing to making W . S . Gibbs Memorial Park a treasure to be shared by many for years to come . We welcome this issue ’ s Volunteer Spotlight , Dustin Minnick . Dustin is a senior at Brownsburg High School and is working to advance to the Eagle Scout rank , the highest rank achievable with the Boy Scouts of America ( BSA ). Fundamentally , the Scouts believe that “ advancement is simply a means to an end , not an end in itself ”. As Scouts advance , or merit , to the next rank , such advancement requires mentorship . Additionally , the Scout must also plan , develop , and provide leadership to others in a service project within their community that must benefit an organization other than the BSA , all before the age of 18 years old .

Dustin comes from a long line of Scouts with having two uncles who hold the Eagle Scout rank and his father , who was a Webelo Scout in his youth . Dustin is the youngest member of his generation in the Minnick family carrying on the legacy of earning his merits to achieve the highest rank of the Scouts with the support of his family and mentorship from his uncles and father , as well as Scout leaders and volunteers throughout his Scouting career that began in kindergarten as a Cub Scout .
As Dustin contemplated choosing a project , he remembered his fellow Scout and friend , Elijah Stukenborg . Elijah , who is also earning his merits toward Eagle Scout rank , undertook a fish habitat project at W . S . Gibbs Memorial Park previously for his service project . This inspired Dustin to seek out and find a nature-based need that he could fill . With Elijah ’ s help , Dustin contacted Ryan Lemley , Superintendent of Hendricks County Parks and Recreation ( HCP & R ), to research such a need .
With a love of the outdoors and being surrounded by nature , it was no surprise that they chose tree reforestation as his service project . Tree reforestation is essentially the process of planting trees and establishing a desired forest community in a given area for the benefit of creating a biodiverse and long-lasting habitat for animals and other plants by allowing the ecosystem to strengthen while also providing erosion control measures . As part of the project requirements , Dustin was responsible for raising money to fund the project . In raising a little over $ 3,000 through Go Fund Me , he was able to purchase 200 three-gallon native trees of various types for planting . In collaboration with park department staff , Dustin successfully coordinated and implemented the installation of 200 native tree plantings in an undeveloped field located within the Gibbs Park property . Some of the variety of trees planted include White Oak , Northern Catalpa , Tulip Poplar , and Red Oak .
When asked what his favorite part of the project was , Dustin said what he enjoyed most was being able to contribute to a project , with hands – on involvement , that will have a lasting impact all while sharing the experience with his family and friends . Dustin is currently reviewing colleges and would like to pursue a career in Environmental Science or Forestry Management . We thank you for your contribution and wish you well in your future endeavors Dustin !

INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING WITH US ? EMAIL US AT VOLUNTEER @ HCPARKS . NET !

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