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Spirits soar like an Eagle Scout in Trojan Woods

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New Castle High Schoolstudent Andrew Glover stands next to a trail in Trojan Woods recently. The youth, a son of Mark and Jennifer Glover who will graduate in 2020, made clearing, marking and improving the woods for local residents his Eagle Scout project.
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Andrew Glover works with a post-hole digger while his grandfather, Kent Wisecup, watches.
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Part of becoming an Eagle Scout is assembling a team and showing true leadership. Here Andrew Glover stands with tool in hand with his team next to a new sign directing members of the public into Trojan Woods, located along Trojan Lane. Pictured with Glover (l-r) are his grandfather, Kent Wisecup, brother Collin Glover, dad Mark Glover, friends David Gwinn and Andrew Nipp. Glover’s grandmother, Judy Wisecup, also helped pick out the paint scheme and painted the sign.

By DARREL RADFORD - dradford@thecouriertimes.com

Anyone looking for Andrew Glover won’t find him in front of a video game console. He doesn’t have a Facebook page either. The New Castle High School senior has, quite literally, taken a different path.

In his quest to become an Eagle Scout, Glover’s inner compass has led him into the woods, a place he’d like to lead others.

Trojan Woods, one of this community’s hidden jewels just across from the New Castle High School Fieldhouse parking lot, has become Glover’s project to complete his Eagle Scout requirements.

“It’s a beautiful place,” Glover said. “The problem is no one knows about it.”

For the past several months, Glover assembled a team of family members, school and city officials along with friends to transform this natural wonder into a place for people to walk and enjoy scenic beauty.

Inspired by New Castle Parks and Recreation Director Mike Bergum, Glover and his team have cleared brush, cut up trees and restored trails through the woods. He’s also spearheaded the creation of and painting of information signs, helped with the digging of holes and pouring of cement for sign posts as well as provided information for digital mapping of the woods.

“My job was to organize all of it and get the right people to help,” Glover said. “It’s a leadership role. That’s what most leadership is all about, organizing people and communicating. That’s really what I’ve taken away from this project. Part of being a leader is communicating with people.”

Bergum said the future Eagle Scout’s work will have a positive impact on New Castle for years to come.

“Andrew Glover approached me about a year ago saying that he would like to do a project within the Parks and Recreation Department to earn his Eagle Scout Badge, Bergum said. “He had an idea; it was perfect and the timing was wonderful. Andrew wanted to make a subtle impact in Trojan Woods. The impact that he made revitalized a hidden gem within the community.”

Just a short distance away from the busy buzz of Trojan Lane traffic, birds chirp happily in a green oasis where nature has largely been undisturbed.

Bergum has marveled at Glover’s efforts – not only his ability to stay focused on the project in the midst of being an active student-athlete, but his determination to respect nature in the process.

“He had the best interest of Trojan Woods in mind,” Bergum said. “When school let out and Andrew’s calendar loosened up a bit, his plan was put into action. His devotion to detail paid off as the plan went off without a hitch. Family and friends helped implement his blueprint for the project.”

“It was remarkable to see Andrew in action,” Bergum continued. “His leadership, direction and attention to detail were noteworthy. He had done significant research in order to understand the greenspace he was working with and around. The goal was to not disturb the area but to clean up, identify loops and mark trails.”

“We try to leave nature alone,” Glover said. “Fallen trees stay where they land. If necessary, we take the trail around it and leave it to decay naturally.”

While working on the project to become an Eagle Scout, Glover has followed some pretty impressive footsteps. U.S. President Gerald Ford, astronaut Neil Armstrong and movie producer Steven Spielberg are among a long list of famous people who were Eagle Scouts.

For Glover, however, the most famous Eagle Scout is his father, Mark, who earned the rank in 1986.

The Trojan Woods improvement effort has been a true family affair. Mark helped out and Andrew’s grandfather, Kent Wisecup, assisted with clearing trails and provided expert training on how to use a post-hole digger among other things.

“I learned it from my father and my grandfather,” Wisecup said of the post-hole digger.

Mark Glover recalled how, on his Eagle Scout project, he lined a creek bed in the Cincinnati, Ohio area with rocks on both sides to prevent erosion.

Mark Glover served as his son’s scoutmaster when he was younger.

Andrew Glover also emphasized he’s gotten more than just a little help from his friends.

Andrew Nipp and David Gwinn teamed with Glover’s younger brother, Collin, to help turn the dream of improving Trojan Woods into a reality.

“Andrew Glover is one of my best friends,” Nipp said. “He has been for several years and I have the opportunity to help him. I thought it would be good to do the physical labor and help clean up a part of the community and make it nice. My dad (John Nipp) himself was an Eagle Scout. It’s good to see and help in a process with something he did.”

Gwinn had similar sentiments.

“He’s just a great friend and I need the service hours for my rank advancement in scouts,” Gwinn said.

Even little brother is part of the team.

“It’s pretty cool seeing my brother getting close to the Eagle Scout honor and achieving the goal he’s worked for many years now,” Collin Glover said.

One of the best parts of this Eagle Scout project, however, in the eyes of Glover’s grandfather, is that it might inspire others to continue improving Trojan Woods. Even with Andrew Glover’s efforts, there will still be work to do.

“Somebody really needs to address honeysuckle in here,” Wisecup said. “That’s an invasive species. When honeysuckle gets started, no other small trees will grow. It’s a toxin. It just takes over everything.”

Thanks in part to Glover’s team-oriented efforts and helper Artie Ratliff, the hidden gem is now on the map – literally. Signs point out where trail entrances are and give walkers an idea of how far they extend. GIS mapping, courtesy the Henry County’s Bruce Atkinson, provide valuable information emergency responders can use in case of an emergency along the trails. There is a main trail and a side trail. 

In Bergum’s eyes, Glover is very deserving of the Eagle Scout honor.

“The distinction is something that Andrew will carry for a lifetime,” Bergum said. “The attributes that identify an Eagle Scout are exactly the qualities that Andrew possesses. I am thrilled that Andrew chose to work with the New Castle Parks and Recreation Department to achieve his Eagle Scout Badge. He is a wonderful example of the youth in this community making an effort to make a difference.”