By John Lee
MADISON — Max Sanders said he and his fellow Scouts from Troop 15 had fun jumping in their canoes and cleaning up Brashear Creek.
“It was fun and challenging at times as we had to navigate our way through little nooks and crevices in the creek to collect some of the trash,” Sanders said. “It felt good to clean up the creek and it looks a lot better now.”
Boy Scout uniforms and merit badges filled the courtroom at the Justice Complex Tuesday night as Boy Scouts received certificates for helping keep Madison beautiful from Mayor Mary-Hawkins Butler.
The mayor kicked off the board meeting by asking the scouts to lead everyone in the pledge of allegiance and prayer.
In December 2021, Scouts from Troop 15 helped clean up Braiser Creek, which runs through Liberty Park and along Grandview Blvd., and planted flowers in the botanical garden in front of the Montgomery House on Main Street.
“People haven’t been kind to the Brasier Creek area in the past because there was a lot of trash there,” Hawkins-Butler said. “We are very grateful to you for doing this. The botanical garden is also something that people will come to see from afar.
“I always tell the little ones the sky’s not the limit and be whoever you want to be,” Hawkins-Butler said. “We live in a big county, a big state, and a big city, and I appreciate you all wanting to participate.”
Scoutmaster Matthew Thompson said Troop 15 has several Life Scouts on their way to Eagle rank and need to work on an Eagle Scout project, one of them being the cleanup of Brashear Creek.
“This was a conservation project that involved cleaning up the park and walking path, cleaning up the creak, and building a park bench near the walkway,” Thompson said. “It started as an Eagle Scout project, but grew into something that addressed the specific needs of the city.”
Thompson said cleaning up the park took about half a day and building the bench also took half a day. He said setting up the project itself took several weeks, as the scouts needed permission from the city and council Andrew Jackson to move forward with the plans.
“I think this will start a tradition of conservation-focused service projects in the city,” Thompson said. “The city recently contacted us to ask us to carry out a project at the Natchez Trace funeral home. Children have a desire to help the community. We are proud of our Scouts and the young men who have earned their Eagle rank. If they’re an Eagle Scout, they’ve earned it.
Tenderfoot Scout Jacob Caudell said helping and cleaning up Madison will hopefully teach people not to litter so much and keep the city clean.
“There was a ton of trash in a tunnel the creek ran through, and we had to maneuver our canoes to pick it up,” Caudell said. “It felt good after cleaning because it looked so much better. I recommend scouting, it teaches you good discipline.
Eagle Scout Nicolas LaFluer said projects like these always have a positive impact on the community.
“A lot of people are busy every day, so having a group of people ready to help the community is a blessing for those community members,” LaFluer said. “Brashear Creek looks so much better. I always saw trash when I drove to school every day and after this project, and it’s so much better now.