The school underwent extensive renovations in 2010 and early 2011, causing the destruction of the planters in its front entrance area. The soil in and around the planters had also become severely compacted and malnourished. Meyer's project was to re-establish all six planters.
Meyer is a former McAuliffe student. "I have been very close to principal (Dennis) Sackett," says Meyer. "He played a major role in helping me adjust to a new school and a new school district. I thought this project would be a great way to thank him and McAuliffe Middle School for all they have done for me."
Meyer's first step was to remove debris from the planters. No simple task since the planters measured as much as 55 feet by 11 feet. Meyer and fellow Boy Scouts removed dead plants, plastic barriers, cement chunks, other leftover construction materials as well as four inches of old soil. Next, Meyer tilled in two inches of clean organic soil. Agromin, a producer of premium organic soils and mulches, donated nine tons of organic soil for the project.
As the troop members dug their shovels into the dry, severely compacted soil in the first planter McAuliffe principal Sackett noted, "We need some water." The skies above Los Alamitos promptly opened up, and in a half hour, an inch of rain fell on the city and Meyer's project.
After the fluke thunder, lightning and hail storm passed, Meyer and Troop 660 finished the project: removing old soil, adding new soil, laying a weed barrier mesh, planting 60 new plants and finishing off the over 1,300 square feet of planter beds with mulch also donated by Agromin. The entire project took only one day, but Meyer and troop members worked from 6:00 a.m. to almost 6:00 p.m.
Meyer will receive his Eagle Scout award later this month.
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Agromin is an Oxnard, Calif.-based manufacturer of earth-friendly soil products made from organic material collected from more than 50 Southern California communities.