A group of Boy Scouts, their families, and their friends — 40 people in all — put in an long day of hard work at MBC this Sunday. Jonathan Hirst of Boy Scout Troop 840, Pinecrest, Florida, organized the project as part of his Eagle Scout award. The MBC Cycad Walk, implemented during the 1990s, used a variety of soils and top dressings, as raised beds organized by geography. This practice functions well for many cycads, but improved practice in recent years groups cycads by habitat type and uses native soils at grade. Mulch surfaces, whether raised or at grade, and whether rock, compost, or wood chips, always require more labor and treatments than natural turf.

Jonathan’s project converted selected horticultural features at MBC into sustainable ecoturf surfaces, which improve plant health and reduce environmental impact, and are also more resource-efficient. Functionally, the project required removal of a tree, and lots and lots of heavy digging. Sand, heavy soil, clay, mulch, and granite gravel were dug out by hand and separated for recycling in the garden. A total of 50 cubic yards of material were excavated by the project. The areas were then raked flat and seeded. The resulting new line of the cycad walk follows design principles from MBC’s landscape architect, and works to soften and improve sharp curves and steep slopes.

“Jonathan’s project certainly followed excellent landscape design, and greatly improved things from a sustainability viewpoint,” stated Patrick Griffith, MBC Executive Director, ” but I was most impressed by all of the ‘heavy lifting’ that these Scouts put in. These are hard working young men, and thier efforts here will help MBC for years to come. This is true dedication to sustainability.”

Tracy Magellan, MBC Outreach Manager, concurred, “its wonderful to see the way this group works together. I am certainly very grateful for Jonathan’s hard work, and we all enjoyed Troop 840’s great team spirit.