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Assisting with the climate action plan

By Simon Wong

14-year old completes Eagle Scout project

UNION CITY, Calif. -- Sahil Markanday, aged 14, is one of the youngest boy scouts to have recently completed his Eagle Scout project. Union City residents and the City’s Climate Action Plan are the immediate beneficiaries of his efforts.

“Markanday and his crew of volunteers planted approximately 50 flowering trees and conifers around San Andreas Park to help expand the urban forest to sequester carbon as part of our Climate Action Plan,” explained Union City Grounds Supervisor, Nelson Kirk. “The flowering trees and conifers will also form a canopy to shade the pathways for residents who regularly walk in the park. They also planted another 120 shrubs along the back-up area of the park.”

Eagle Scout is the highest attainable rank in boy scouting and requires years of dedication and hard work. Fewer than five percent achieve it. Remarkably, Markanday joined the Boy Scouts of America only in 2010. He has earned the 21 merit badges towards qualifying as an Eagle Scout; a dozen are compulsory and the remaining nine are elective. He has completed Camping, Citizenship in the Community, Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Emergency Preparedness, Environmental Science, First Aid, Hiking, Personal Management, Personal Fitness, Family Life, Pioneering, Weather, Fingerprinting, Leatherwork, Mammal Study, Music, Astronomy, Stamp Collecting and Wood Carving.

“The idea for my project arose from helping another scout with his Eagle Project,” Markanday explained. “To prepare, I first contacted City of Union City Public Works Department to see if they had any available projects, met Nelson Kirk to discuss the project and the work it would entail, planned the project, put it in writing and took pictures of the project site. I sought volunteers to help and must thank my scout master, Bruce Chan, committee chairperson, John Gillen, and Eagle Coordinator Merl Nygren for approval of the project and their guidance. The Eagle Scout project, which took two months from inception to completion, was an opportunity to apply leadership skills that had been taught at the National Youth Leadership Camp which I attended in the summer.”

According to Markanday, completion of this project not only serves as a milestone for becoming an Eagle Scout but, above all, feeling that he has done something useful for the community and City in which he lives has given him immense satisfaction.

As for the future, the James Logan High School student plans to attend medical school and continue his community involvement, mindful of the need to be a good human being, to help others and to live by the Scout Oath at all times.

“Union City owes the Boy Scouts of America a debt of gratitude,” said Kirk. “Most of our Eagle Scout projects are dedicated to planting trees in neighborhood parks and along boulevards and roadsides. These young men have become stewards in our urban forest and we appreciate them and their parents’ support.”

For more information about Scouting within the San Francisco Bay Area Council, visit Alternatively contact Joe Barton at (510) 577-9227 and or Steve Armstrong at about the different scouting units in the Mission Peak District (serves Fremont, Union City and Newark) and Tres Ranchos District (serves Hayward, Castro Valley, San Lorenzo and San Leandro).

For more information about Scouting within the Santa Clara County Council, visit Alternatively, contact Ken Schott at (408) 280-5088 or about the different scouting units in the Coyote Creek District (serves Edenvale, Evergreen, Milpitas, Berryessa, Alum Rock, Mt. Pleasant, parts of downtown and East San Jose).

Sahil Markanday (front row, kneeling with baseball cap) and his volunteer crew on completion of his Eagle Scout Project at San Andreas Park, Union City. Photo courtesy of Nelson Kirk.

Scout Master Bruce Chan (l) with Boy Scout Sahil Markanday (r), San Andreas Park, Union City. Photo courtesy of Nelson Kirk.

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