400 grasses, trees and shrubs. That’s how many plants Troop 12 Scouts have put into the ground at Empire Pond, located off Highway 99 and Barger Drive in Eugene.
The relationship with the City of Eugene’s Parks and Open Space started with a handful of Pack 12 Webelos Scouts, who took on the project as part of earning the World Conservation Award in 2019. Nine of these Scouts crossed over to Troop 12 and continued their commitment to caring for Empire Pond.
In fact, Troop 12 returned in August 2020 for an emergency "bucket brigade"— to water plants and help them survive the hot summer. In December 2020, our scouts scheduled another conservation project at Empire Pond, where they added diverse native plants around the perimeter to improve water quality and provide habitat for ducks, geese and other wildlife.
Lauri Holts is an ecologist. She’s with Eugene’s Parks & Natural Resource Planning. Holt said Empire Pond used to have a really bad infestation of the aquatic weed Ludwigia hexapetala.
“This plant was so thick that nothing else could grow there, stated Holts. “Controlling that weed was the first step-- and replacing it with native species like the slough sedge, spirea, wapato and other species is the next step towards returning the site to a more natural state.”’
Our scouts look forward to future service/conservation projects to improve our planet — one community at a time.
"We must change boys from a 'what can I get' to a 'what can I give' attitude."
--Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of Scouting