More from Hudson Valley Hero

Stevie Branche, Boy Scout and Trailblazer

This month’s Hudson Valley Hero is a New Paltz teen who built a walking trail for seniors



Residents of Woodland Pond at New Paltz, the upscale senior living community, can wade in the indoor pool, unwind in the billiards room, and now — thanks to New Paltz High School senior Stevie Branche — commune with nature and stretch their legs on a new walking trail. 

Last year’s opening of a short path, which leads to a viewing platform overlooking a pond, was a welcome addition to campus, but residents yearned for more: an opportunity to take in the great outdoors along with a bit of exercise on a continuous loop trail. After learning this piece of intel from his mother, the site’s facilities coordinator, Branche started hatching plans for his a Boy Scouts service project, which would ultimately lead him a step closer to earning coveted Eagle Scout status. After securing numerous approvals, Branche began work on extending and improving Woodland Pond’s trail last fall.

It was something of a group effort, Branche recalls: “Sometimes it was just me working, sometimes my dad came along, sometimes 15 of my fellow troop members joined in.” With flagging tape and stakes, he devised an easy walking path with minimal slopes. His father rented a Brush Hog, and together they cleared out the weeds; other troop members tackled the remaining roots and branches. A layer of wood chips and mulch made the land soft underfoot. After 200 hours of work, the path opened in late August.

“It’s just a nice walk through the woods, where you can sit down on a bench and have a rest,” Branche says.

He joined the Cub Scouts when he was “as young as could be”; the Woodland Pond project is thus far the largest he’s taken on — something he hopes will make a strong impression when he applies for college this year, where he also hopes to play baseball.

“It was tough and long,” says Branche of the work, “but worth it for the sense of pride and accomplishment.”

Meet more of our local heroes here or nominate your own below.


 

nominate a hudson valley hero

Each month, we spotlight a Valley resident who goes the extra mile to help those in need. Our heroes are your friends and neighbors who volunteer their time and talents to assist others; their sole reward is knowing that they’ve contributed to making our region an even better place to live.

Do you know a Hudson Valley Hero? Share their story and a photo (optional) below, and they could be featured on hvmag.com!

Your full name:

Your town/city:

Your email (if we need to contact you):

Your Hudson Valley Hero (full name):

Hero’s town/city:

Hero’s email (so we may contact them):

Hero’s phone (so we may call them):

Hero’s accomplishments or good deed (reason why they should be named a Hudson Valley Hero):

Note: Though we’d love to showcase all of the Valley’s good samaritans, please understand that nominations are for consideration only, to be reviewed by Hudson Valley Magazine’s editors. We only feature one Hero per month, so if you don’t see yours in print, don’t worry! We may be waiting to spotlight him or her in a future issue.


Sign up for our free e-newsletters:

HVM Today: Delivered every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, our editors hand-pick the region’s top stories — from hot ticket events and pop culture buzz, to recipes and restaurant reviews, to the latest headlines and tips on living well.

HVM VIP Invitations & Special Offers: Get special offers on local events, products, and services we think you’d like.

Click here to subscribe to Hudson Valley Magazine (opens in new window)


This page requires javascript. It seems that your browser does not have Javascript enabled. Please enable Javascript and press the Reload/Refresh button on your browser.

You may upload an attachment with your submission. We accept the following file types:
jpg,jpeg,gif,zip,tiff


File:


 

Edit Module
Nominate a Hudson Valley Hero

ABOUT OUR SPONSOR

Finkelstein & Partners is committed to promoting the good works of people throu​ghout the Hudson Valley. View the video below to learn more about this program.

Edit ModuleShow Tags


Giving kudos to our local do-gooders

About This Column

Each month, we spotlight a Valley resident who goes the extra mile to help those in need. Our heroes are your friends and neighbors who volunteer their time and talents to assist others; their sole reward is knowing that they’ve contributed to making our region an even better place to live.

Edit Module
Edit Module
Edit Module