Getting physical at the Baebler Farm

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Pictured is Eagle Scout Gabe Lewis at the new exercise trail at Baebler Educational Farm south of Waterloo.

Baebler Educational Farm just added another attraction thanks to Waterloo High School senior Gabe Lewis. 

Lewis recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout after completing an exercise trail at the farm.

The new trail includes five stops with two exercise stations at each stop along a trail at the west end of the 103-acre property located at 4022 JJ Road south of Waterloo. The two stations have instructions on posts that explain how to use the equipment and the muscle groups they engage.

The signage and stations were installed by Lewis with direction from Master Naturalist Mike McClymont. He’s been a volunteer at Baebler since it began and a frequent advisor to potential Eagle Scouts, helping five scouts – including Lewis – earn the distinction.

Lewis said he needed direction in finding a project for his culminating Eagle Scout service project, and McClymont suggested the exercise trail at the farm, which has become a popular destination for outdoor recreation in the area.

“I’ve been in Scouts since I was a little kid,” Lewis recalled, adding he was a Cub Scout around kindergarten age and became a Boy Scout around fifth or sixth grade.

Lewis underwent the final step to earn his Eagle Scout rank, a board of review, on April 1. He was approved and can now add the accomplishment to a growing list of titles.

He will be called a WHS graduate this spring and will be a University of Illinois freshman this fall. Lewis plans on majoring in math. 

Baebler Educational Farm is operated through the Monroe County U of I Extension and 4-H Education Foundation. It opened in 2014 as a donation from the late Vera Baebler to provide a place to experience and learn about nature. 

The farm is open year-round and hosts different events throughout the year. One such event is Nature Adventures Day from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, April 25. It includes guided hikes, kite flying, fishing and other activities. 

For more information, call 618-939-3434.

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