The Miller Chapter has a new educational resource thanks to a Boy Scout’s interest in native plants.
Christopher McHugh, a member of Boy Scout Troop 928, completed his Eagle Scout service project in September by establishing a native plant garden at the Miller Chapter. His goal was to provide information about plant species once common to northwest Indiana and show native plants in different stages of growth throughout the year.
The project took more than 7 months and 465 man-hours to complete. Chris secured donations of building materials, equipment usage, and landscaping materials and managed several work days with Boy Scout volunteers. Other parts of the project included protecting plants from a late frost, months of weeding and watering to get the young plants established, and research to develop the informational sign for the garden.
An added bonus: The flowers in the garden are being used by a colony of honey bees that the Miller Chapter Conservation Committee brought in over the summer.
"Chris is very pleased with this project. He feels it demonstrates that young people are able to make meaningful contributions by leading conservation projects," says Joe McHugh, Chris’ dad and a member of the Miller Chapter. "Chris learned a great deal about local plants, using different building materials, scheduling work, making sure people are doing things correctly, and — most importantly — how to be a good leader. He learned to be patient with adults, siblings, and young boys." Chris plans to make regular visits to the chapter to help maintain the garden and ensure the continued value of this educational resource.