Years from now, Andrew Cottrell will be able to walk along the Washougal River Greenway trail and see trees he planted towering above.Cottrell, 14, recently added a colorful variety of 12 maples to the trail, located in Camas off Second Avenue, for his Eagle Scout project.
He decided to plant the trees after calling the Camas Parks and Recreation Department and being put in touch with local resident and master gardener Vern Schanilec. It took Cottrell about four months to plan the project, secure donations, and plant the trees.
“It was nice seeing how many people showed up to help me,” Cottrell said.
Schanilec describes himself as a “concerned citizen” who helped Cottrell.
“I see that there is a lot of stuff to be done,” he said. “I’m very interested in this greenway and its future.”
When it came time to plant the seedlings last month, 37 friends and members of his Cottrell’s Boy Scout Troop 495 and friends came to help plant the trees and clean the trail of some old planting tubes that will be reused in the future.
Cottrell, a freshman at Camas High School and a member of the marching band, struggles with ADHD.
To stay focused on a project of this magnitude, he scheduled small allotments of time with short bursts of activity.
Scouting is a tradition in Cottrell’s family. Both his parents, Steve and Keri, have spent time as scout leaders.
His brother, Miles, has just completed all of his Cub Scout ranks and earned his Arrow of Light, just like his dad and brother.
“We’ve got one son coming in the door (of Scouting) just as the other exits,” Keri Cottrell said.
Carlson Nursery in Gresham and Hidden Gardens Nursery in Camas donated trees for the project. Parkrose Hardware, New Seasons Market, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Costco, and members of the Latter-day Saints congregation donated supplies, money and services to help complete the project.