Eagle project completed at arboretum

Julian Askov demonstrates how to attach labels to a stake.

Julian Askov of Boy Scout Troop 100 in Kula has completed his Eagle project at the D.T. Fleming Arboretum in Ulupalakua to earn the Boy Scouts of America’s highest honor, the Eagle Scout Award. The award ceremony was held at Waipuna Chapel on Aug. 27.

An Eagle Scout Award requires Scouts to plan, organize and direct a community service project demonstrating commitment, skill and leadership. To become an Eagle Scout is a commitment for life to be a mentor and leader for the community.

Askov is the son of David and Maria Askov of Olinda. He coordinated a three-day campout Aug. 4 to 6 with Scouts and Cubs from Troop 100 to accomplish his Eagle project — the installation of updated, upgraded tree identification labels for 98 signature trees in the arboretum.

Askov directed his crew of 35 volunteers to install 7-foot stainless steel stakes and attach new ID labels using fishing wire and crimps.

Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program funded the project’s research and supplies.

Friends of the D.T. Fleming Arboretum staff provided mentorship and coordination efforts.

The arboretum inventory update for database and tree labels was done by environmental consultant and retired state Department of Land and Natural Resources Maui District Manager Robert Hobdy.

The arboretum’s database and trail identification labels provide visiting scientists, community groups and individuals conservation information, which contributes to the appreciation and preservation of Hawaii’s native plants and forest ecosystems.

The new labels include the arboretum’s 14 Maui County Exceptional Trees, updated scientific names and federal protection status. Labels now include current island natural distribution, alongside pre-contact island occurrence. This information is important to determine seed and propagule distribution to preserve their unique genetics.

“Working with Boy Scout volunteers since 2008, I watched Julian grow from a wild rascal Cub to a focused young man directing 35 youth and adult volunteers doing multiple projects at one time to complete his Eagle project,” said project mentor Martha Vockrodt-Moran.