Boy Scouts double down at Gladstone Nature Park
Matthew Fergus and his brother, Benjamin Fergus, cleared invasive blackberries at Gladstone Nature Park as part of their Eagle Scout projects.
Eagle Scout is the highest honor in Boy Scouts and is the culmination of their community work. The Fergus brothers are members of Scout Troop 192 in Gladstone.
On March 18, Matthew Fergus organized a group of 36 volunteers, including his brother, other Scouts, members of their church, and family from as far away as Washougal, Washington, and Philomath, Oregon, to clear the blackberries near a trailhead into the park, adjacent to Kerns Market, at the intersection of Oatfield and Webster roads in Gladstone.
The volunteers clocked a cumulative total of 113 hours of vigorous chopping, hauling and clearing. They filled one dumpster of garbage and a second even-larger container with blackberry vines and debris. Their efforts exposed beautiful moss-covered boulders and ferns that haven't been seen in years.
"We can't possibly thank these folks enough for stepping up and pitching in to clean up a park that is fast becoming a symbol of community pride," said Mayor Tammy Stempel. "For Matthew and Benjamin Fergus to identify this as their Eagle Scout project is an honor, one that is valued beyond measure."
Other opportunities are coming up for Gladstone Nature Park's more than 10 acres of Oak forest, large basalt boulders and vegetation. A paved walking trail crosses through it connecting Oatfield and Webster roads.
Younger brother Benjamin Fergus is scheduling his work party from 8 a.m. to noon on April 8 to improve the trail into the park from where his brother's work party cleared the opening.
The second-annual Arbor Day Celebration in Gladstone Nature Park is scheduled Saturday, April 29, featuring a free fun walk, information booths, prizes, and music on the meadow stage.
"Join the Gladstone community and celebrate trees, open spaces, and exercise," said organizer Nancy Eichsteadt.
Registration begins at 10 a.m., and the walk ends at noon, with music continuing until 1 p.m. (weather permitting). Preregister online at protectTheParks.org.