Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Boy Scout Troop Partners with City of Southlake for Community Project

Timber Lake, a local subdivision in Southlake, is the first of its kind to have a 911 Emergency Trail Marker system thanks to Brett Belleville, a member of the Boy Scouts of America’s White Chapel Church Troop 928. These markers have been successfully installed throughout the walking trails in the Timber Lake and Monticello subdivisions.

When it comes to outdoor activities, leadership skills and helping others, the Boy Scouts of America is no stranger. The project began when Brett asked to install the markers along his neighborhood trails for his Eagle Scout project to provide residents with a point of reference for their location in case of emergencies.

An image of the 911 trail marker.

Brett reached out to Mayor Laura Hill, who put him in contact with Southlake Police Chief James Brandon, who assigned Captain Randy Thomas to serve as the City contact for the project. Thomas connected Brett with other City departments, to ensure that their project fell within guidelines.

After approval from the Timber Lake Homeowners Association, several City departments collaborated to make this project possible. Before any trail markers could be installed, Planning and Development Services checked to see if any permits were needed. Once the area was cleared for digging, the next step was to ensure that all utility lines were identified. Public Works provided locating services for gas and water lines and a contact for special utility lines.

Twenty-seven trail markers were installed throughout the shared trail of both subdivisions.

The markers are easy to read and are labeled with descriptions to help emergency services locate a person. The letters “TL” stand for Timber Lake and the 3-digit number is utilized to match the longitude and latitude of each marker.

Brett Belleville is presented with a certificate in recognition of his trail marker project. (Photo taken prior to social distancing guidelines.)

“Each trail marker will be registered with Southlake DPS,” stated Thomas. “If someone gets lost or hurt, they can simply call 9-1-1 and state the trail marker number and emergency services will arrive to their exact location.”

After the Boy Scouts from Troop 928 finished the installation, Thomas, Brett and Patrick Whitham, a GIS Analyst with the City of Southlake, walked the trails and plotted each trail marker using satellite coordinates for precise map locations. These mapped locations of the markers have been shared with the Police, Fire and Public Works Departments.

Partnerships with a philanthropic organization such as Boy Scouts of America’s White Chapel Church Troop 928 is an example of how the City utilizes partnerships to impact the community in a positive way. The Southlake Police Department presented a certificate to Brett on behalf of Mayor Hill and Councilmember Shawn McCaskill in recognition for this first of its kind project in Southlake.

The project provides an additional layer of security to our Southlake residents and will soon be utilized at other city parks soon in the near future.