Reclaiming history

Individuals who utilize the Nokomis Park trail will see some new improvements to the facility this month.

Webster City Boy Scout Troop 17 member Alex Hooker has been reviving the history and aesthetics of the old ice house for his Eagle Scout project.

“There is an old ice house about .2 miles into the Boone River Recreational Trail by Nokomis Park,” said Hooker. “My project was basically to revive the history of the ice house by removing a lot of the concealing and surrounding trees and foliage so that you can actually see the building there.”

“You didn’t even know there was an ice house there until we cut down the trees,” Hooker said.

Hooker and his team began work in April of 2015 and finished up the project on July 18, 2016.

“We got a bunch of people down there,” said Hooker. “We had 12 people total. Seven youth and five adults,” Hooker said.

“We weeded the area, planted some flowers, and made the place look overall a lot more aesthetically pleasing,” Hooker said. “That’s where we also dug the holes and poured concrete and installed the two benches and the sign.”

Hooker also made benches that trail walkers can stop and rest at.

“I then constructed two wagon-wheel benches as well as a professionally made information sign that covers the brief history of the ice house, which was made by Kinnetz Signs in Webster City,” said Hooker.

“We created a nice looking rest stop along the trail essentially,” Hooker said.

Hooker, 15, has been involved in the Boy Scouts since 2012. Prior to that, Hooker was a cub scout from 2007 to 2011.

“This is the final achievement, the biggest accomplishment a boy scout can earn,” explained Hooker.

Hooker explained that even though the project itself is finished, there are still a few steps to go before he can become a full fledged Eagle Scout.

“I won’t have it until I complete all the paperwork and complete my board of review,” said Hooker. “I completed the project. Now I need to do all of the paperwork and create a workbook.”

Hooker is hoping to complete the review this September. Hooker, 15, is ahead of the curve for Eagle Scout as most scouts don’t attempt their final projects until 16 or 17.

It cost an estimated $850 to complete the project according to Hooker. The project was paid for through donations, a $250 grant from Thrivent Financial, and some financial assistance from the troop.

“This project helped me in my leadership skills,” Hooker said. “That’s what the Eagle Scout achievement is all about. Becoming and growing as a leader.”

Hooker chose to revive the ice house area because the whole community could benefit from the project.

“The reason I did this project and the way I think it will impact the community is it will help to excite and inform some of the citizens of this community about history that they didn’t even know existed in this town,” said Hooker.

Hooker credits the Boy Scouts with giving him a set of skills he will be able to use for the rest of his life.

“It instilled a lot of knowledge within me,” said Hooker. “I’ve acquired 53 merit badges. The required amount is like 22. Each merit badge is essentially a different skill. Overall I’ve learned a bunch of different stuff about a bunch of different fields.”

Hooker credits his father as one of his biggest supporters and mentors during his time in the scouts.

“My dad was an assistant scout master for my first few years in the program. He helped me out a lot and continued to motivate me throughout my Boy Scout experience, as he was a Boy Scout himself,” Hooker said.