Marley Fort with the compost bin he constructed at The Bridge Academy in Lawrence for his Eagle Scout project.

Marley Fort has been involved in scouting since first grade and now he plans to achieve something only 4 percent of all Boy Scouts accomplish — to become an Eagle Scout.

An Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America. Fort chose The Bridge Academy, a school for students with learning disabilities in Lawrence, for the site of his project. Fort has been connected to The Bridge Academy since he was young as his father is a social studies teacher at the school.

He met with Susan Morris, the principal of the school, to see if they had any particular needs. During their initial meeting, Morris identified the school’s interest in environmental projects and that their compost bin really needed some improvement.

“This was a great project for me. Not only am I interested in environmental issues, but it was a great way for me to put my planning and leadership skills to work,” Fort says.

He researched compost bin designs and worked with his scout adviser to fine-tune the design and determine the necessary materials to complete the project.

Throughout the four-week construction project, Fort directed several scout volunteers in over 100 total hours of service. The completed project was later transported to The Bridge Academy’s campus, where some students from The Bridge Academy students assisted in leveling and installing the bins and adding a wood chip walkway to it from an existing parking area. The final touches to the project were azalea bushes planted to create a buffer around the bins.

Marley worked with three students from The Bridge Academy, including fellow Boy Scouts Russel Fagan and Dustin Kutcha as well as Devin Harper. The final result was a 9 foot, three-compartment composting bin that will help the entire school community accomplish their goal of becoming a more environmentally sustainable school.

Fort is a boy scout with Troop 44 in Pennington. He is a resident of Pennington and a senior at Hopewell Valley Central High School.

The Bridge Academy is an independent school for students with language-based learning disabilities like dyslexia, auditory processing disorder and ADHD.