BARTON COUNTY, Mo. — A local 4-H club has taken up quite the summer project.

Several youths of Barton County’s 4-h clubs have been working on improving a local nature trail since May.

The Laurann Nature Trail is just behind Lamar High School, and up until now, it was not in very good shape.

“We have got to work with the FFA. They built us some posts so we mixed up some concrete and we put the posts in the ground and we’ve been working on spreading the gravel for the last month, and just trying to clean it up. We had a conservation agent come out and identify some trees for us to help put on the podiums so kids can use it more and teachers can use it more,” said Ashlynn Ball, Barton County 4-H Club Member.

“It was mostly just over-grown. There wasn’t much gravel everywhere. It was mostly dirt path, covered in dirt and trash and stuff,” said Tre Shaw, Barton County 4-H Club Member.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture gave the kids the Building Our American Community grant of $1,000 split between the two 4-H clubs: Learn A Do and City Clovers.

The clubs have used these funds to purchase materials, like sand for a safe trail.

“We’re going to move it all the way around the trail where there’s seating for the outdoor classroom. We’re going to put mulch down just so it’s easier for the kids, but the sand will stay whenever it floods cause it’s a flood zone. So, it’ll stay. A lot of the gravel here just washes away over time so, a little bit of a sandy mixture will help it stay a little bit better,” said Ball.

“We just want to improve things around town. We want to make sure that people have things to do, make sure the school has nice equipment and nice land,” said Shaw.

The goal is to wrap up the work in time for school to start in August.