Service Projects

Civic Service and Conservation Projects

For over 100 years, Scouting programs have instilled in youth the values found in the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Today, these values are just as relevant in helping youth grow to their full potential as they were in 1910. Scouting helps youth develop academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills, and citizenship skills that influence their adult lives.

While various activities and youth groups teach basic skills and promote teamwork, Scouting goes beyond that, and encourages youth to achieve a deeper appreciation for service to others in their community.

Service Project Opportunities 

Below is a list of service opportunities throughout the Sam Houston Area Council for units, Scouts working on their Eagle Scout projects and Scouts working on the Distinguished Conservation Service Award.

Submit a project

Civic Service and Conservation Projects

Community and Conservation Service Projects

While many of these projects will satisfy Eagle Scout and/or BSA Distinguished Conservation Service Award project requirements, they may also be used for unit service work. Submit projects

Armand Bayou Nature Center 

Armand Bayou Nature Center is one of the largest urban wilderness preserves in the United States. ABNC contains 2500 acres of the natural wetlands forest, prairie and marsh habitats once abundant in the Houston and Galveston area. ABNC is home to over 370 species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. ABNC offers hiking trails, exhibits, field trips, Scout programs, birding, a historic farm and fun for all.

Contact:  Mark Kramer, 281-474-2551, ex 15
Types of Projects: ​Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Invasive species control: Chinese Tallow Tree removal

Galveston Bay Foundation

Galveston Bay Foundation is a conservation nonprofit that has served as guardian of Galveston Bay since 1987. Their mission is to preserve and enhance Galveston Bay as a healthy and productive place for generations to come. They are education, habitat restoration, water protection, land conservation, and advocacy.

Contact: Emely Ford

Harris County Flood Control District 

The Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD) is a government agency that was established to reduce the effects of flooding in Harris County. 

Contact:  Erin Going, 713-684-4224 or Karen Fox, 713-316-4805
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Trash clean-up
  • Tree planting
  • Graffiti clean-up

Houston Arboretum and Nature Center 

The Houston Arboretum & Nature Center is a 155-acre non-profit urban nature sanctuary located on the western edge of Memorial Park that provides education about the natural environment to people of all ages. It plays a vital role in protecting native plants and animals in the heart of the city where development threatens their survival. 

Contact: Trevor Rubenstahl (trubenstahl@houstonarboretum.org), 713-366-0428
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Forest & Range Management/Eagle project: habitat restoration: restore prairie, savanna and woodland habitats by replacing invasive species with native plant communities.
  • Unit/Individual service hours (e.g., Arbor Day).

Houston Aubudon Champions Property 

Houston Audubon's conserved lands are world-renowned nature sanctuaries for birds, other wildlife, and people. Our land holdings have grown from 17.5 acres in 1975 to 4,121 acres that span 17 sanctuaries throughout Galveston, Brazoria, Liberty, and Harris counties today. Preserving habitat through land acquisition and restoration has become an integral element of their avian conservation work. 

Contact: Andrew Beck, 713-932-1639
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Invasive species removal: Chinese Tallow and Chinese Privet.
  • Fish and wildlife management: installation of bird boxes and signage to indicate type of birds likely to utilize each.
  • Soil and water conservation.  This property was donated to Audubon Society as a wetland mitigation project. Restore swamp conditions to northern portion of tract after removal of invasives.
  • Eagle project: work with sanctuary steward to map out a trail system.  Clear the route and improve the surface. Could be expanded to a Distinguished Conservation Service Award project by adding interpretive signage.
  • Eagle project: create and install signs at the entrance to the preserve, once a parking area has been established. Install signage at Cutten Road to indicate the turn-off. Add any trail signs that may be required.
  • Eagle project: construct and install park benches.

Jesse Jones Park & Nature Center 

Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, a Harris County Precinct 4 premier 312-acre nature preserve, is dedicated to environmental and natural history, education, wildlife conservation and passive recreation.

Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects
Contact: 281.446.8588 or jjp@hcp4.net

Katy Prairie Conservancy 

Katy Prairie Conservancy

The Katy Prairie Conservancy works to protect greenspace for its conservation and recreational benefits, enhance wildlife habitat, restore tallgrass prairie and wetlands, sponsor scientific research, and offer public programming and activities to introduce the general and school-aged public to the sights and sounds of the prairie. 

Contact:  Jaime Gonzalez
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Project list under development

Lone Star Flight Museum

Katy Prairie Conservancy

The Lone Star Flight Museum, located at the entrance to Ellington Airport, houses a collection of flight worthy history planes, as well as exhibits that explain the science of flight and the history and impact of aviation in Texas.  

Contact:  James Talmage
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects can include improvements to the building facility to make it more comfortable for guests or educational equipment that can be used to demonstrate and teach science and history of flight. Group service projects can make improvements to the grounds or landscaping.

Montgomery County Lake Creek Preserve 

Montgomery County Lake Creek Preserve

The Lake Creek Preserve is a Montgomery County open space preserve managed jointly with the non-profit Bayou Conservancy (open to public, no fee). This loop combines the two primary trails on the preserve, the Orange and Blue Trails.

Contact:  Glenn Buckley, 936.273.0098
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Trail development
  • Interpretive nature trail guide and signage
  • Invasive species removal on benches along trail
  • Trail and bridge maintenance

Montgomery Trace Natural Areas

Contact:  Glenn Buckley, 936.273.0098
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Wetlands restoration (Tallow Tree removal)
  • Reforestation
  • Trail development.

NRCS

Contact: 281.469.7856, ext 108
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Develop permanent display to be used in educational programs. Project would include working with Ms. Dean to develop theme and content of , constructing the display and organizing a crew to staff the display in at least one educational event. The display must be constructed so as it can be used as a permanent educational tool.

Port of Houston TREES Program - Houston Wilderness 

Port of Houston Trees & Riparian Enhancement of Ecosystem Services

The Port of Houston Trees & Riparian Enhancement of Ecosystem Services (PoH TREES Program) is a multi-year collaborative project by Houston Wilderness, Port Houston, Houston Health Dept, Buffalo Bayou Partnership and RES focused on targeted large-scale tree planting through a comprehensive tree inventory and installation of 1 million native trees along Lower Buffalo Bayou, Lower Brays Bayou and 25 miles of the Houston Ship Channel, using native tree species research, GIS-based data collection and on-site inspections and tree plantings on properties along the ship channel.

Learn More and Volunteer

Sam Houston Natural Forest 

Sam Houston National Forest

The Sam Houston National Forest (394 FM 1375 W., New Waverly), one of four National Forests in Texas, is located 50 miles north of Houston. The forest contains 163, 037 acres between Huntsville, Conroe, Cleveland and Richards, Texas. 

Contact: Nancy Garcia
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Hiking Trails:  Possible soil and water conservation - trail and bridge maintenance projects.
     
  • Eagle Scout / troop projects - campground maintenance:

A. Waste receptacles (55 gallon drums purchased, painted and placed; or restore receptacles, bins, drums already on hand.)
B. Fire pits (clean/restore grates, paint them; replace concrete pads that the grates sit upon)
C. Paint metal gates
D. Clean signs
E. Repair and maintain bulletin boards
F. Restore bathrooms, remove graffiti, replace (i.e., damaged toilet paper rolls, benches) as needs arise
G. Remove fallen and bucked (sections of felled hazard trees that have already been cut into manageable sizes)
H. Pick up trash along lake and roads along the lake
I. Fee tube sanding and painting

  • Eagle Scout / troop projects - road maintenance (fix pot holes, replace/clean road signs and sign posts, as needed):

A. Cagle (FRD 205),
B. Scotts Ridge (FDR 212), and
C. Stubblefield (FDR 240)

  • Eagle Scout / troop projects: hunter camp maintenance:

A. Bulletin board repair (clean and paint, replace/maintain roof)

Volunteers may list their names, ages, and phone numbers along with projects they might like to help with.  

Sheldon Lake Outdoor Learning Center 

Sheldon Lake Outdoor Learning Center

Sheldon Lake State Park and Environmental Learning Center is comprised of two units, Sheldon Lake (access point located at the boat ramp off Pineland Rd.) and the State Park and Environmental Learning Center (main entrance at 14140 Garrett Rd. Houston, TX 77044) The primary activities at the lake unit are fishing and wildlife observation. Sheldon Lake is open every day to public fishing. Boats must not exceed headway speed while operating on the lake; they may be launched at the south boat ramp on Pineland Road. Bank fishing is permitted year-round.

Activities at the State Park and Environmental Learning Center include group programming, birding, wildlife/nature study, hiking, and fishing for children. The park (open daily) includes several nature trails which pass through 28 naturalized ponds, prairie, and wetland habitats. These offer opportunities to view alligators and other wildlife. (Binoculars are recommended for best viewing.) Free catch-and-release family fishing is permitted for children accompanied by adults, in the two fishing ponds. Alternative energy technologies and green building techniques (photovoltaic, solar hot water, wind turbine and ground coupled-geothermal) are demonstrated at the Pond Center. A wildscape demonstration garden shows techniques for using native plants and wildflowers to attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife to your backyard. 

Contact: Tom Olson, 281-456-2800
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Invasive species control: Chinese Tallow and Chinese Privet removal (year-round)
  • Forest and range management: tree planting (winter)
  • Fish and wildlife management: bird and bat houses
  • Other innovative projects agreed upon with management

Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center 

Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center

The Spring Creek Greenway Nature Center is surrounded by over 300 acres of preserved forest land adjacent to the Peckinpaugh Preserve and Spring Trails Preserve. The 11,000 square foot facility contains a nature center, community center, the Sheriff’s Patrol District II Office, pavilion with restrooms, and nature trails. The site also includes a new parking area and trailhead entrance to the Peckinpaugh Preserve. The new trailhead gives access to a beautiful nature area. The old trailhead at the end of Old Riley Fuzzel Road can accommodate equestrians, canoeists, and kayakers. A canoe launch has opened at the end of Old Riley Fuzzel Road, adjacent to the Peckinpaugh Preserve, which offers direct access to Spring Creek. The preserve contains 2,385 linear feet or almost one-half of a mile of frontage along the banks of Spring Creek.

Contact: Matthew Buckingham, or Stephanie Prosser
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Forest and range management: install native trees and plants by nature building, parking lot and pond. Give presentations on the value of native plants, and why those were selected.
  • Forest and range management or fish and wildlife management: interpretive trail development.
  • Eagle Scout project: maintenance on existing nature building/outdoor classroom.
  • Eagle Scout project: benches along trails in preserves
  • Invasive species control: invasive species removal (e.g., Tallow, Sedge, Japanese Climbing Fern, Cattails)
Peckinpaugh Preserve
  • Forest and range management: install native trees and plants at preserve entrance, parking area and canoe launch, along with informative signage.
  • Forest and range management or fish and wildlife management: create a new loop trail, promote and give guided nature tours of the trail. Depending on the length and difficulty of the trail this may constitute two projects: trail development (Eagle Scout project) and development of interpretive signage, guide and tours (Distinguished Conservation Service Award project).
  • Eagle Scout project: benches along the trail in preserve.
  • Invasive species control: invasive species removal (e.g., Tallow, Sedge, Japanese Climbing Fern)
  • Serve as a guide at the grand opening of the preserve.
  • TBD: Promote and host a nature day at the preserve.
  • Soil and water conservation: repair and stabilize ATV ruts and other damage.
Mussle Lake Preserve (FM 2854)
  • Develop interpretive nature trail around all or part of lake.
  • Develop teaching dock for lake.
  • Remove invasive species.
  • Other projects defined by Scoutmaster.

Storm Water Inlet Marking (SWIM) 

Storm Water Inlet Marking (SWIM)

The Storm Water Inlet Marking (SWIM) program is an environmental public education program sponsored by Harris County and the City of Houston. The program's goal is to raise awareness of storm water locations and issues, and encourage residents to protect water resources.

Contact: 713-685-7355 or visit www.cleanwaterways.org/swim
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Air and water pollution control: StormWater Inlet marking and community education. Obtain proposal form and release waiver.

Stormwater runoff from urban areas can carry pollutants and trash into the stormwater drainage system. Water that flows down the drains in our homes first goes to sewage treatment facilities before it's released to bayous and rivers. But, water that flows into our stormwater drainage system, along with other substances it collects, goes directly into our bayous, rivers, and ultimately into Galveston Bay. Unlike sewage, stormwater receives no treatment.+

Stormwater inlet markers bearing the JTF's Clean Water Clear Choice logo and a message stating "No Dumping, Flows to Galveston Bay". Markers are available for citizens' neighborhood storm drains. The message will remind citizens to not to dump pollutants into storm sewers or contribute to ordinary stormwater runoff by littering, over-fertilizing, or sweeping yard debris into the street.

The program is open to any individual, group, or community that would like to participate in helping us reach our goal: marking every storm drain in Harris County in order to prevent pollution from entering our local waterways. Developers can also propose installing SWIM markers as part of their Storm Water Quality Management Plan.

Much of the pollution in area creeks and bayous comes from common, every-day materials, like household chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, gasoline, used motor oil and antifreeze and litter. These substances run off into storm drain inlets by rainwater from our streets, yards, driveways and parking lots.

Texas General Land Office - Adopt a Beach 

Texas General Land Office - Adopt a Beach

The Texas Adopt-A-Beach program is an all-volunteer effort dedicated to preserving and protecting Texas beaches.

Contact: Adopt A Beach Program, 1.877.892.6278
Types of Projects: Unit projects and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Units can participate in beach clean up
  • Recycling / erosion control: organize a Christmas tree recycling project in your neighborhood and in cooperation with the General Land Office (GLO); use them to stabilize a section of beach dunes (must be planned with the GLO and local community).

Trash Bash 

Trash Bash

Trash Bash®, the largest single-day waterway clean-up event in Texas, is held each spring in continuation of its mission to clean up and promote a healthy Galveston Bay Watershed. Get involved by becoming a sponsor or volunteer.

Contact: Glenn Buckley, 936.273.0098
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

  • Units can participate in Trash Bash clean up and demonstrations for educational program.
  • Fish and wildlife management: develop reusable display board demonstrating the impact of trash on wildlife, organize staffing for one Trash Bash event and make presentation(s) to community groups and/or Scout units.
  • Check specific locations and contacts at www.trashbash.org

W. Goodrich Jones State Forest 

W. Goodrich Jones State Forest (1328 FM 1488) is a mile west of Interstate Highway 45 along Farm Road 1488 in Montgomery County, just south of Conroe. Texas bought the land in 1926, and the forest was named for W. Goodrich Jones, founder of the Texas Forestry Association. The forest is stocked primarily with native loblolly pine.

Contact:  John R. Warner, 926.273.2261
Types of Projects: Eagle Scout projects, unit projects, and Distinguished Conservation Service Award projects

Council Camp Service Projects

Council Camp Service Projects

Many service projects are available at our council camps that will satisfy Distinguished Conservation Service Award project requirements.  They may also be used for unit service work.  Projects completed at council camps cannot be used for Eagle Scout Projects.

Bovay Scout Ranch 

Contact:  Vincent Manning

  • Projects are being developed, but cover a wide range of projects, including those related to forest and range management, soil & water conservation, invasive species control and possibly fish & wildlife management.

Camp Brosig 

Contact:  Vincent Manning

Camp Strake 

Contact:  Erick Simmons

Reporting Service Hours

To help report an accurate report on the great service and dedication our Scouts are providing to the community, units are to report their service projects through Internet Advancement. Eagle Scout project hours also need to be entered through the Journey to Excellence website.

Resources

  • Service Project Guidelines contain age guidelines for tool use and work at elevations or excavations.
  • Service Project Planning Guidelines can be utilized for all Scouting service projects including Eagle Scout service projects. The guidelines must not be construed to be additional requirements for an Eagle Scout service project, but they do represent elements that should appear on the Eagle Scout candidate’s final project plan from the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, No. 512-927. 
  • The Houston Community ToolBank is a nonprofit tool lending program serving other nonprofits by putting high-quality tools in the hands of the volunteers. For three pennies on the dollar, the Houston Community ToolBank provides fast and easy access to large volumes of high-quality tools for Eagle Scout projects to increase the impact of service projects and community revitalization efforts. Video Tour

Contacts

Dennis Olheiser
Council Civic Service Chair
(281) 831-0787 
dennisolheiser@gmail.com

Brendan Cronin
Program Director / Civic Service Staff Advisor
 (713) 756-3308
brendan.cronin@scouting.org

Glenn Buckley
Council Conservation Committee Chair
(936) 273-0098 
grbuckley419@comcast.net

Brandon Lewis
Conservation Committee Professional Staff Advisor
 (713) 756-3319
brandon.lewis@scouting.org