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Jacobus Scout takes aim at tackling water pollution

Dawn J. Sagert
York Dispatch

Christian Snouffer is driven by achievement, especially when that achievement involves helping the environment and local communities.

On Aug. 22, Christian, 13, who has achieved Life rank in Boy Scout Troop 69 in Jacobus, organized about 22 volunteers — some local residents and some fellow Scouts — to complete the third of four projects required for him to receive the William T. Hornaday Award for Distinguished Service to Natural Resource Conservation silver medal.

“I can help communities and at the same time help the environment,” Christian said.

For this project, Christian, of Yoe, distributed more than 900 flyers to residents, published information in municipal newsletters and organized the installation of permanent markers at 222 storm drain sites in York Township and 83 sites in Yoe. The markers are a reminder for residents not to dump waste in the drains because storm water does not go through the sewage system to be filtered.

“Any pollutants that get in the water will travel downstream, downriver into the Chesapeake Bay, which is a main food source for the entire area,” said Christian, adding, “It also affects the economies."

Life Scout Christian Snouffer, 13, center, looks on as his father Brad Snouffer, left, both of Yoe Borough, hands a supply bag to volunteer Mike Swift, of Loganville, as the Snouffers brief more than 20 volunteers before dispersing into action for Christian's conservation project beginning at Ore Valley Elementary School in York Township, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. The project, which entails labeling 222 storm drains in York Township and 83 markers in Yoe Borough, to deter pollution, is the third of four required projects for Snouffer to achieve the William T. Hornaday silver medal. Dawn J. Sagert photo

York Township resident Mike Hanegraaf, who was once a Scout himself, said he read about Snouffer’s need for volunteers and wanted to help.

“I haven’t been doing much for the community,” said Hanegraaf, who said he saw the project as an opportunity to help out the community and do something good.

According to a brochure that details several variations of the award, the medal is awarded to individual Scouts “for exceptional service in natural resource conservation or environmental improvement,” and it requires Scouts to research and implement four “significant” natural resource conservation projects.

Christian’s first two projects involved beginning a battery recycling program at Dallastown Intermediate School and installing a riparian buffer at Hidden Valley Scout Reservation in Loysville, Perry County. 

“People up north need to think about what they are doing because that can affect people they don’t even know or places they’ve never been,” Christian said.