Spencer Burke. Photo courtesy of Dorothy Buechel.

To celebrate Earth Day and Global Youth Service Day, a rising senior at St. Mark’s School of Texas led a project to build and distribute wildflower seed balls.

Spencer Burke, who is also a Northaven Trail captain and Eagle Scout in Troop 577 at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, received a Hershey Heartwarming Youth Heroes grant through Global Youth Service America to fund the event.

Burke and a team of youth volunteers made more than 500 native wildflower seed balls, which included a native mixture Burke chose to attract pollinators and flourish around the Northaven Trail. The volunteers asked bikers and walkers using the trail to throw the seed balls in specific pollinator patches.

“It was really great seeing our community come together after being isolated in their homes for so long from COVID; it is truly amazing how the power of people working together can make a difference in our environment,” Burke says in a statement. “Next spring, I can’t wait to see the Northaven Trail ablaze with Texas wildflowers and buzzing with native pollinators.”

Burke has led efforts in the past to remove invasive species and plant grasses and wildflowers native to Texas at the Twelve Hills Nature Center. He also built and installed 100 bee nesting boxes across Dallas. Right now, he’s raising Northern Bobwhite quails he plans to reintroduce at the Connemara Conservancy and Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area.

“Thank you, Spencer Burke, for organizing this seed bomb event,” said Will Dawson, a Friends of the Northaven Trail board member in a statement. “As a founding member of our Trail Captains program, Spencer has worked hard since October 2019 keeping his section of the trail in great shape. Today’s event will benefit all trail users as new wildflowers were planted along the trail’s eight miles.”

Boy Scout Troop 577 scouts make wildflower seed balls to throw along the Northaven Trail. Back row from left to right: William Warren, Jackson McDowell, Oliver Burke, Spencer Burke, Max Johnson. Sam Baxter in front. Photo courtesy of Dorothy Buechel.