Local Scout plants 2,000 long leaf pines at Grayton Beach State Park

November 2, 2020

Santa Rosa Beach resident and Life Scout Clayton Didier, 13, has now completed his final leg of Boy Scout accomplishments, and will be moving on to the highest ranking of Eagle Scout. As a member of Boy Scout Troop 562, Didier just completed his Eagle project, planting 2,000 long leaf pines across 13 acres at Grayton Beach State Park.

With the help from more than 80 volunteers, Didier worked Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 planting the pine seedlings within the northern section of the State Park off of CR283. With the great volunteer turnout, the group was also able to install two barrier fences and remove more than 200 pounds of trash. Before embarking on the the planting, Didier was educated by the Dept. of Environmental Protection district biologist and park staff on proper methods.

“I originally estimated the project to cost around $2,000 and raised over double that with Friends of Grayton and local businesses strong support for scouting and the environment. I was excited to be a part of this program, great community, and be able to give back to our fragile ecosystem by planting 2,000 longleaf pine trees. A longleaf pine ecosystem is home to many endangered plants and animals, is an excellent wildlife habitat, and a diverse forest ecosystem. This project site originally was burned back in early March, but they did not have any plans to plant trees here on this site. My project helped put a plan in. Once my trees are planted this site will be done for planting longleaf pines but there will still be some wiregrass planted to help make it the best wildlife habitat.” said Didier.

About the Boy Scouts of America:
There are seven Boy Scouts of America official rankings. These include scout, tenderfoot, second class, first class, star, life, and eagle. The highest rank, Eagle Scout, is obtained when….

  • The scout has been active in their troop for at least 6 months
  • The scout has a total of 21 merit badges which must include First Aid, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Personal Fitness, Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving, Environmental Science, Personal Management, Swimming OR Hiking OR Cycling, Camping, and Family Life
  • The scout has served in a leadership position in their troop for at least 6 months
  • The scout has completed an Eagle Scout service project