On Saturday, despite the cold and dreary weather, the 13-year-old Midview Middle School student and nearly 30 volunteers spent two hours cleaning Powdermaker Creek near Genon Energy in Avon Lake.
Dylan began working on the community-based project several months ago in preparation for his Eagle Scout Award with Troop 120 in Elyria.
According to the Boy Scouts of America’s website, in 2010, more than 56,000 Boy Scouts earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
To become an Eagle Scout, a boy must progress through Boy Scout ranks; earn 21 merit badges; serve six months in a troop leadership position; complete a service project; take part in a Scoutmaster conference; and be approved by the Eagle Scout review board.
Dylan has had his family’s support from the beginning. His father, Rick Brister, earned his Eagle Scout Award, as well as several of his uncles.
“They direct me the right way and are helpful as much as they can, but they make me work for (the Eagle Scout Award),” Dylan said from his home.
And working hard is what Dylan and the 30 volunteers did on Saturday.
Throughout the morning, the team pulled old metal pipes, cardboard boxes, tarps and other items from the bank of Powdermaker Creek.
“These items have been there for so long and this creek runs right into Lake Erie. The garbage was just carried on down,” Dylan said.
Genon provided the pick-up truck that collected the rubbish.
“It was heaping over the bed of the truck,” Dylan said in disbelief.
Some of the volunteers borrowed machinery from Genon to help pull items from the bank of the creek.
“It was too much for the people to carry,” Dylan said, noting that there were pieces from a metal shed and couch sitting on the edge of the creek.
All the garbage collected was disposed of properly in a Dumpster behind the plant.
Dylan knows that without his parents,, as well as Genon plant manager Daniel Rogatto and the volunteers, he could not have accomplished his goal of making Powdermaker Creek safer for for the animals that inhabit the area as well.
“It’s not about you. One person can’t do this alone. We got wet, dirty and cold, but we didn’t give up,” Dylan said.
Send your Grafton/LaGrange/Columbia news to Melissa Linebrink, 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.