Eagle Scout project helps with harvest

Blake Wegener creates raised, cedar garden beds for farm-to-table eating

Blake Wegener’s Eagle Scout project will help elementary school students learn about the concept of farm-to-table eating.

Wegener, 16, built six raised, cedar flower beds in the Helen Baller Elementary School garden, where students will grow and harvest vegetables such as lettuce and tomatoes.

Wegener, a Camas High School sophomore, is a member of Boy Scout Troop 562. His mom, Danielle, is a second-grade teacher at Helen Baller. She connected her son with principal Aaron Parman, who suggested the flower bed project.

“He did an amazing job on this project,” Parman says of Wegener’s work in the school garden.

The Boy Scout began assembling the garden beds in December, but says the icy winter weather didn’t impact the work, as most of it was done inside his family’s shop.

“I have really learned that even a project that seems simple has a lot of things that need to get done behind the scenes,” Wegener says. “My Boy Scout Troop has so many activities planned, it was hard to coordinate times that worked for everyone’s schedule to get together.”

Another challenge was coming up with a design using affordable materials.

Wegener, who has taken several engineering and architecture classes, settled on a simple but efficient model using cedar.

“My favorite part of all of this was seeing it come together in the end,” he says.

Adds mom Danielle, “I loved watching him in a leadership role. We had a ‘hands off’ approach to this project and really wanted to let him handle it.

She continues, “He did a great job, and I know how hard he worked behind the scenes to make it all come together.”

Wegener completed the project on May 13, two weeks ahead of schedule.

Donations came from LJC Feed, Metro Landscape, Lutz Hardware and the Camas Vision Center. Camas-Washougal Rotary Club members and Boy Scout Troop 562 also assisted.