The Scatter Creek Wildlife Area will be home to a new effort to protect endangered plants and butterflies after Rochester Boy Scout Jesse Ervin completes his ongoing Eagle Scout project.
Ervin’s project consists of constructing four tables and six screens. The tables are meant to hold seedlings while they are growing in pots before they are transferred to the ground. While they are on the table, they will be protected with the help of screens that will help provide shade to the growing plants. There are already two tables at the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area ready to be used but lack screens, hence Ervin’s production of four tables but six screens.
The tables will contain Rose Checker Mallows, a species of flowers that is endangered in Washington state. The endangered flowers will also assist in the preservation of Taylor’s checkered spot butterflies, an endangered butterfly species.
The Rose Checker Mallow seeds that will be grown on the tables were harvested from the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area and provided by park rangers.
Ervin first got the idea for the project from Scatter Creek Wildlife Area park rangers. He was walking through the park when he bumped into a ranger who mentioned some potential Eagle Scout projects. After reaching out to contact the ranger in charge of potential projects, Ervin decided to select the one he is now working on completing.
“I really like going to Scatter Creek just for fun,” Ervin said. “I thought it would be cool to do a project there because it means a lot to me.”
Ervin began working on the project last October when he started the paperwork. He spent the entirety of his spring break from school working on the project, constructing different parts of the benches. Because of his hard work, when it was time for Ervin to put the benches together at the park on April 16, Ervin was able to take the pieces of the table over to the Scatter Creek Wildlife Area, put them together like a kit and complete his project in just four hours.
Ervin’s project was supported by Ace Hardware on the corner of Reynolds Avenue and Harrison Avenue in Centralia, which donated all the project's supplies. Ervin’s mother, Jennifer, said the donation “was quite unexpected” and “really nice.” She said they were surprised because they had expected to visit several stores before they would have enough donated supplies.
The Scatter Creek Wildlife Area park ranger who coordinated with Ervin on the project, Joshua Cook, expressed gratitude for Ervin’s work.
“We are so grateful to Jesse Ervin, his family and Scout Troop 9373 for working together with us on this Eagle Scout project,” Cook wrote in an email. “We would also like to thank Ace Hardware of Centralia for donating the materials used for construction. These nursery tables will help us propagate plants that are critical for the wildlife present at Scatter Creek Wildlife Area, including Sidalcea virgata, who’s only known population in the state occurs on site. We are very excited to use what has been made to improve habitat for sensitive and endangered species in the Wildlife Area. Jesse was very thorough and engaged throughout the planning and implementation process of this project. He also made improvements to designs that had been used previously. We found him, his fellow Scouts, and their families delightful to work with. We could not be more impressed with what he has accomplished here.”
Ervin, who has already completed all his required merit badges, now moves onto the next phase of his Eagle Scout path, the Eagle Scout Board of Review. The Eagle Board, which consists of sitting before a panel and answering questions about Eagle Scout projects, Boy Scout careers and life outside of Boy Scouts, is the final step in becoming an Eagle Scout.
After being interviewed by the Eagle Board, an Eagle Scout candidate will be asked to leave the room and the board members will privately discuss the merits of their candidacy. If the candidate is approved by the board, then they will become an Eagle Scout.
If they are not approved by the board, depending on how close they are to turning 18 years old, they will either have to repeat their Eagle Board at a later date or will not be able to become an Eagle Scout.