New flowers will be blooming in the day use area of Harris Beach this summer thanks to the efforts of sophomore Bart Land and his fellow scouts.
Land chose landscaping at Harris Beach as his Eagle Scout project.
Eagle Scout is the highest ranking level in the Boy Scouts. To achieve the rank, a boy must earn 21 merit badges, have a measurable accomplishment and demonstrate leadership. Generally, the measurable accomplishment takes the form of a project.
I wanted to do a visible project and my skills are in landscaping, Land said.
He consulted with Angela Kohlhoff, park ranger, and she suggested he come up with a plan for the area, he said.
Land planned the project for nearly two months before beginning. He looked through books and on the Internet for information.
He then sketched a landscaping map and planned what would be removed and planted.
The project cost approximately $100, Land said.
With the help of 18 members of his scout troop, Land cleared the area near the restrooms and planted verbinia, lithodora and defusia.
The ivy near the picnic sign was removed and wild strawberries, verbinia, lithodora and defusia were planted.
The only difficulty was finding a date to get everyone there, Land said.
A date was agreed upon and the scouts showed up to rake, plant and dump dirt on a cold and windy May day.
They each worked about two hours at the site. That work, along with Lands preliminary efforts, added up to approximately 100 man hours, he said.
Im relieved its over because it takes a lot of work to get it done, Land said.
Were really happy he was able to do it. It took a lot of work on his part to get it organized, said Patti Land, Barts mom.
Tim Buehler, Lands scout master, was also pleased.
He spoke with the park people, set up a crew to accomplish it and did a great job, Buehler said.
By becoming an Eagle Scout, Land is carrying on a tradition for Buehlers troop. The troop produced five Eagle Scouts last year and Buehler said he expects to have as many this year.
Approximately 25 percent of Buehlers troop become Eagle Scouts each year. Nationally, 4 percent of boys become Eagle Scouts, according to scout officials.
Buehler attributes the high percentage of Eagle Scouts in his troop to several factors.
I have a lot of adults who help with the program, he said.
He added that the adults who assist, including Mary Fox and Alan Neerenberg, have been with the program for several years.
Ive been a scout master for 11 years and I think that contributes to the overall success because (the scouts) have stability, he said.
He also believes tradition plays a role.
When you build a tradition into the troop that the boys make Eagle Scout, they see that as a task they can accomplish, he said.
Although Land has finished his project, he has one more step before he officially becomes an Eagle Scout.
This month, he will go before a review board of community leaders who will ask him questions and review his character to determine if he is living up to the ideals of the scouts.