Many years from now, future archaeologists might be studying the area that is now Moss Lake in Kings Mountain, and while doing so they may discover some strange-looking objects and wonder for a while what purpose they serve. But then they will be enlightened, because they will find that these structures are autographed and dated to 2019.
What are these weird contraptions, you may ask?
They are actually habitat structures meant to improve conditions for the fish population. And much of the work to install them is being done as part of an Eagle Scout project by recent Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy graduate Kesh Italia. Italia is a member of Troop 100 in Shelby, led by Scout Master Fred Blackley.
"My Scout Master actually gave me the idea because he had heard that Moss Lake officials were working on this and could use some help," says Italia. "He asked me if I was interested, and I said yes."
Italia's project involves planning and providing leadership for construction and ultimate placement of artificial fish habitat structures.
"Kesh and his helpers have had two work days and have approximately 65 unique structures partially or fully assembled," says Blackley. "Most all the materials are recycled or donated, and they won't biodegrade, unlike Christmas trees. Thus, they will provide more benefits with time as food sources grow on their surfaces."
Italia reports that he is about half-way through the process of constructing the structures.
The Moss Lake staff approved the project, is providing guidance and support, and will manage the ultimate placement of the structures.
"We plan to mark the placement of the structures on GPS," says Italia. "Our goal is to help increase the fish population in the lake."
Italia has been involved with scouting since he joined the Cub Scouts when he was in second grade.
"Someone came to our class in school, and it sounded like it would be interesting," he says. "Through the years, I have stuck with scouting because I really enjoyed learning stuff for the merit badges and I really enjoyed camping and the other aspects of participating in Boy Scouts."
Italia plans to attend Central Piedmont Community College in the fall where he intends to major in computer science.
For more information about the fish habitat project, contact Dee Stewart at the Moss Lake office by calling 704-482-7928 or 980-291-5227.
By April Hoyle-Shauf, Special to Community First Media