Boy Scout helps environment

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By Kirsten Laskey

When you plant a flower or tree in the ground, it feels like you are doing something great – not only for your yard’s appearance but also for the environment’s wellbeing.

This isn’t always the case, however. That tree or flower could require buckets of water, thus washing away any good intentions the planter had.

Therefore, Alan Dahl, a Los Alamos High School junior and member of Boy Scout Troop 422, is working on a Eagle Scout project that will not only enhance the community’s landscape but show other local gardeners how to plant wisely. Dahl is landscaping the land close to the weighing station at the Los Alamos County’s Ecostation.

The twist is that Dahl is using only recycled materials to do this project. For instance, he said he is using compost, mulch and river rock for the landscape. Additionally, a local artist is donating a statute made from recyclable materials.

Work on the landscaped project started a month ago and Dahl reported that the ground, which originally was choked with weeds, has now been tilled, de-weeded and compost has been spread. To continue the project, Dahl is looking to the community for assistance. People are encouraged to donate river rock and boulders as well as several plants such as salvia, lavender, Blue Russian Sage, creeping thyme, Fire Dance Poker and any type of lily.

He explained lavender and Blue Russian Sage grow big and require little water. Additionally, Fire Dance Poker is a type of cactus, which also needs very little water, and materials such as river rock help with water run-off.

“It’s just a way to let the community know there are ways to landscape your home that is cheap but still healthy to the environment,” Dahl said. The project should be completed either in August or September.

Tom Nagawiecki, environmental services specialist, supports the project Dahl has undertaken.

“I think it’s a good project for the community because it will serve as a representation of landscaping that can be accomplished using xeriscape plants and usable materials,” he said. “And being that its location is at the Ecostation, it will be seen by a multitude of individuals.”

Nagawiecki added, “I would encourage people to donate because it’s going to be a good cause for his Eagle Scout and it will help beautify the county building at the Ecostation.”

To make a donation, call Nagawiecki at 662-8383 or e-mail him at Tom.Nagawiecki@lacnm.us.

Dahl said the Eagle Scout project is just one requirement to receive the Eagle rank. In addition to completing the project, Dahl said he has to show what went well with the project, what didn’t go well, the project plans as well as photos of site before the project was started and the finished product.  He also has to prove that he was the leader for the project.

So far, Dahl said the highlights of the project have been the amount of work that has been accomplished with limited time and people. He added he decided to pursue the Eagle rank “because I heard a lot from my parents and other people that an Eagle Scout (recognition) helps on job resumes, but it’s an award that helps teach leadership and it will help me with any leadership opportunities that will come up in my life.” Dahl has been a Boy Scout since age 11.