Conservation and the Boy Scouts of America have been partners for a long time. Camping, hiking, and respect for the outdoors are a part of the Scouting heritage.
The Hornaday Awards program was created to recognize those that have made significant contributions to conservation. It was begun in 1914 by Dr. William T. Hornaday, director of the New York Zoological Park and founder of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. Dr. Hornaday was an active and outspoken champion of natural resource conservation and a leader in saving the American bison from extinction. He named the award the Wildlife Protection Medal. Its purpose was to challenge Americans to work constructively for wildlife conservation and habitat protection. After his death in 1937, the award was renamed in Dr. Hornaday's honor and became a Boy Scouts of America award.
Scouts and leaders should remember, when looking for potential projects; the project must be a conservation project designed to address a conservation issue or need. The project must benefit the environment or the native fauna in the area. Soil and water conservation, invasive species control, a reforestation planting project, harvesting native seed and reseeding native prairie, and a nesting box establishment program would all potentially qualify as Hornaday projects. The Hornaday project, whether earned as a unit or individual should be on the level of an Eagle Scout project with regard to the significance of the contribution and the learning experience achieved. There should be a lasting impact to the environment when the project is completed. All projects need to be substantial and well documented.
A candidate or unit should find one or two potential projects and then provide sufficient background information on the project to get approval from the Council Hornaday Award Chair, Steve Van Riper prior to beginning the project. This ensures the project is sufficient to earn the award, and efforts are maximized.
For further information and William T. Hornaday project examples click here: www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Awards/HornadayAwards.aspx