If all goes well, you’ll see more of Hidden Pond next summer thanks to the work of an Eagle Scout candidate. Chad Denman of Boy Scout Troop 1140 recently was talking with staff at Hidden Pond Nature Center in Springfield, Va., when he saw the site’s namesake pond enveloped in duckweed. That sighting was all he needed.
On Saturday, September 26, Denman gathered friends, family, fellow scouts and classmates from the New School of Northern Virginia for some gloppy work in the muck and the mud at the pond. He tells the story:
The duckweed removed from the pond during the project is being recycled into a fertilizer test. Hidden Pond Nature Center Manager Mike McCaffrey and staff hauled the removed plants to a small area behind the park office, where the duckweed was placed into a clearing of about 100 square feet. McCaffrey plans to clear an identical area next to the duckweed station, but this second area will get no duckweed. His plan is to plant matching flowers and vegetables in each area next summer and compare the results.
If the duckweed area produces more or better flowers and vegetables than its neighbor, McCaffrey may invite residents to come to the pond and remove duckweed, which they could then take home and use as fertilizer or a planting material.
Fairfax County Park Authority parks welcome Eagle Scout and Girl Scout Bronze, Silver and Gold Award projects. Contact the manager at any staffed park for information. Learn more about scouting programs in parks on the Park Authority website. Visit Hidden Pond Nature Center at 8511 Greeley Blvd. in Springfield, Va.