CEDAR POINT — Commissioners agreed Tuesday night to let an Eagle Scout candidate build and put bird houses on trees in the town park on the White Oak River and Boat House Creek.
Joshua Pittner, son of Cedar Point Planning Board member Douglas Pittner, made the request during the commission’s monthly meeting, conducted via Zoom.
“My proposed Eagle project is to build, paint and install 12 birdhouses at the Boathouse Creek Walking Trails Park,” Joshua told the board. “I am targeting nine specific species of cavity-nesting birds for the houses.”
Those are the Eastern bluebird, chickadee, titmouse, nuthatch, Carolina wren, house wren, prothonotary warbler, great-crested flycatcher and the red-headed woodpecker.
Joshua, a member of Boy Scout Troop 446, based at Cape Carteret Presbyterian Church, said he will build each house along specifications to accommodate those species. The project will benefit the species, he added, by helping them recover from habitat destruction and other problems.
“The location of each birdhouse is critical in attracting the target species,” Joshua added, so the houses must be placed according to the species’ preferences and spaced appropriately to account for the territorial nature of birds.
Joshua told the board he will also build and install a sign near the park trailhead, prompting visitors to find all of the bird houses.
“This sign will target young children, with the goal of engaging them in an enjoyable game during their activity in the park,” he said. “Ideally, this will interest young people more in birds, wildlife and the outdoors, also attracting more visitors to the park.”
Boathouse Walking Trails Park is on 56 acres of land the town bought at the end of Masonic Avenue for $2.8 million in 2019.
Joshua told commissioners his goal is for the houses to last 5 to 10 years. He said he plans no maintenance,but will give the town permission to remove or refurbish the houses as needed.
“The replacement or reconstruction of the houses could also be another Eagle project for a Scout years from now,” he added.
He hopes to complete the project between late September and early November.
“After the project is completed to the town’s satisfaction, any unused funds from the project will go directly to the town of Cedar Point,” he added. “Additionally, if any donors require receipts, the town of Cedar Point, as the beneficiary, must provide them.”
Joshua asked the board for help in determining which trees to use.
Mayor Scott Hatsell praised the Scout for his presentation and called it a great project.
“I can’t wait to see it completed,” the mayor said.
Commissioner John Nash, who is in charge of the park for the board, made the successful motion to approve the project. Commissioners Pam Castellano, Gary Bray and Frankie Winberry joined in the affirmative vote.