Jack Schulte clears brush and opens obstructed view of the animals
By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
Jack Schulte, 18, gathered his friends and fellow Boy Scout members to remove the brush and clean between the two safety fences at the Pine Grove Zoo in Little Falls. This project was part of the sequence of events necessary for Schulte to receive his Eagle Scout Award.
Schulte and his crew concentrated their efforts at the Zoo to the area around the cat cages. The 100-year anniversary for the Zoo was approaching, and Director Marnita Vanhoecke wanted it cleaned up by the big celebration.
“It needed to be done,” said Schulte who is the son of Brent and Julie Schulte. “While we worked, we would hear children ask, ‘Where are the animals?’ Visitors could not see into the cages in many areas.”
Schulte said he and his nine coworkers, during the three days they were at Pine Grove Zoo, found landscaping zoo workers had planted, but had forgotten.
Part of attaining the Eagle Rank, the scout is asked to organize and supervise a service project which is helpful to the community, school or religious institution.
The project was planned in the fall of 2012. Schulte needed to gather his crew and the tools that were needed plus organize the work and how it was to be carried out.
“I thought it would take about 16 hours to complete,” said Schulte. “It took 22 hours, or 109 man hours. We hauled away 19 pickup trucks full of brush and weeds.”
Today, visitors to the Pine Grove Zoo have an unobstructed view of the cats.
When asked how he got his friends to help him, Schulte said, “I think it was the free food.”
Schulte started as a Webelo in the Boy Scouts when he was in the fourth grade.
“I started because both my dad and my uncle Chris Schulte were Eagle Scouts,” he said. “I knew right away I would become an Eagle Scout, too. It sounded so easy … just 21 merit badges and a project. That is, until I got into it and realized how much work it really was.”
After the Zoo project was completed, Schulte had stacks of paperwork to fill out. He then attended a 1.5 hour interview with the Scouting Board of Review. He passed and a ceremony to receive his Eagle Ranking is being planned.
Schulte’s future includes college after he finishes his senior year at Little Falls Community College. He would also like to stay connected to Scouting as a scoutmaster.