Landscaping along BART Fence
by
Eric Hsu
Troop 132, Fremont

            The first thing I had to do for this project was collect cuttings to grow the grape vines. My brother, my dad, and I met with David Pellarin, an East Bay Park Ranger from Quarry Lakes, in March to get the cuttings we needed. We needed at least three to four months in order to allow the cuttings to take root, and I also needed to take care of the grape vines and make sure they didnít all die off before I even started. The representative had chosen to use Wild California Grape Vines due to its resilience to dry climate and high temperature, as well as the fact that her first choice, barbed wire, wasnít legal, and roses, another one of her ideas, were expensive and required a lot of care. I also needed to make sure the grape vines took root, and added rooting hormone to each vine every day. After they took root, I moved the grape vines over to a greenhouse owned by the organization in July as it was no longer necessary to add the hormone and the greenhouse had sprinklers that made watering the vines much easier.


under construction

before

planting

While I had meant to set up a whole drip line irrigation system, I ended up not doing so. There was already a main line, meaning that putting in the whole system was not necessary. Also, the representative preferred sprinklers for the system, and she already had enough sprinklers for the system. After this, I scheduled two work sessions for the Eagle Project.

  clearing area irrigation line

This project ended up better than I could have hoped. While it wasnít a very big project, I was able to finish it far more quickly than I expected and there werenít any very big problems that forced me to make any major changes. More people than I expected showed up on the first day, and I was fortunately able to find something for everyone to do. Also, the use of jasmines left me with plenty of extra materials. While the jasmines will take some time to grow, once they are done, trespassers will have trouble entering Tule Ponds and the place will look much better for any children walking along the path. We also removed the litter, weeds, and branches of existing plants that hung down and hampered anyone going along this path. The irrigation system also makes taking care of the jasmines much simpler, as there is no need to water each plant individually.

 I had much more trouble planning for this project. I admittedly had relatively little experience with leadership and organization on this level, and it took me many tries to figure out what I needed for this project. It was far harder than I expected, mainly because I did not think there would be so many factors to consider. I needed to have proper knowledge of the skills that I needed, the cost of the materials that I would be using in the project, what time would be best for allowing as many people as possible to arrive, and what and when the volunteers would be working on each task. Despite my careful planning, several things did not go according to plan; however, they did so in the best way possible. For example, I had expected about seven people, four of who were boy scouts that had little to no experience in anything regarding scouting and the other three were friends. On the day of work though, the schedule of three more experienced scouts and one Eagle Scout had cleared up and they chose to arrive. The representative of the benefiting organization was also unaware that I was slowly being swamped in volunteers and brought in four more people who were also volunteers for the benefiting organization. I was fortunately able to find something for everyone to do.

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