Eagle Scout spruces up Pinewood course

Austin Van Tassel  has become Elk River Boy Scout Troop 111’s newest Eagle Scout.

The youth got his start in Scouting as a first-grader in Pack 98, and he joined Troop 111 upon graduation from Cub Scouts and crossing over.

It was in Boy Scouts that Van Tassel says he experienced some of the best memories he’s ever had as a teenager and young adult.

Van Tassel has since earned the rank of Eagle Scout and completed a week-long trek at the Philmont Boy Scout Ranch in Philmont, N.M.

“From the various monthly campouts to the fun meetings, I learned a lot and accomplished a lot with some people of great character,” he told the Star News.

Austin Van Tassel’s Eagle Scout project helped rejuvenate a flower bed at the Pinewood Golf Course in Elk River.

Van Tassel started his Eagle project in the summer of 2011, but he had wanted to become an Eagle Scout ever since he joined Scouts.

He decided to tackle something for the Elk River Park and Rec Department and worked with Paul Anderson, manager of Pinewood Golf Course, to redo a flower bed.

With the help of his troop, they pulled out all the flowers, landscaped the terrain and built it up to have three distinct tiers, and then put down new landscaping fabric.

Steve’s Nursery donated plants to fill it out.

Unfortunately, the landscaping fabric failed to stop the weeds and that winter, most of the plants died due to the lack of snow cover.

“With these things in mind, the following spring, I ripped out the dead plants and the ineffective landscaping fabric and put down painters plastic in its place,”  Van Tassel said.

He approached Steve’s Nursery again and this time sat down with  the owner and planned out a better planting option.

Between Van Tassel’s troop members and himself, they put more than 100 man hours into the project at a savings to the city estimated minimally at $1,250.

Van Tassel hosted his Eagle Scout Court of Honor Sunday, Oct. 14 at Lions Park Center.

“I want to thank all those involved for letting me do this and all the work that they put into it,” Van Tassel said.