September 8, 2011 at 8:43 a.m.

Comfort Lake boat landing rain gardens installed by Eagle Scout

Comfort Lake boat landing rain gardens installed by Eagle Scout
Comfort Lake boat landing rain gardens installed by Eagle Scout

When Ryan Thill went looking for an Eagle Scout project he didn't have to search very far. The lake next to where he lives was identified as needing some stormwater controls at the public boat launch. Future installation of rain gardens was put on the to-do list by the Comfort Lake Forest Lake Watershed District, and when Thill contacted the district board of managers and presented his expectations for a project the Board was very encouraging.

The Watershed District Managers and Soil and Water Conservation District agency in North Branch helped Thill do the project layout and get permission for his Eagle Scout project to be done on state-owned property.

Ryan (through his parents) applied for cost-sharing funds from the watershed district. In his appearance before the district managers Thill explained he already had volunteers lined up to help and that he also wanted to do a project that helped the environment. He is in 11th grade this year, so he has two years of high school left and will be around to maintain the rain garden sites. The managers approved a maximum cost-share for the project of $3,000 or 50 percent.

Thill recently installed the rain garden over a few days of hard work. One of the locations ended up containing tree roots and a couple boulders. He said, "The rain gardens weren't an easy project but the end result was well worth the time and effort put into it."

He continued, "I would like to thank everyone that was involved with the project for helping me out...I would also like to thank True Value Hardware, Sunrise Native Plants, Applewood Nursery and All Ways for supplying materials.

"I would also like to thank all the volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 522 for their time and labor on the project. Finally this could not have been completed without the help of Doug Thomas (watershed district director) and Casey Thiel from the Chisago SWCD...so I thank them for their time, effort and help. I hope this project will serve as a motivation for others to become more environmentally aware and to create their own projects for years to come."


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