Eagle Scout supports Beautify Austin at Paredes Middle School

Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 12:20pm

By Jill Capotosto, Volunteer Engagement Intern

Anthony Hall is one of 2.25 million.

If that doesn’t sound impressive, it’s because you don’t have full story. Anthony is an Eagle Scout, a rank awarded to 2.25 million young men since 1912. Over the course of the more than 100 years since the title was first awarded, only 4 percent of men who were Boy Scouts have completed the rigorous requirements to join the ranks of this elite group of 2.25 million.

Since becoming a Cub Scout in his troop more than 10 years ago, Anthony has stuck to his oath “to help other people at all times,” earning more than 21 merit badges and growing in his leadership, service, and outdoor skills. Now a senior at Austin High, Anthony completed the final step to earning the rank of Eagle Scout: planning, developing, and leading an Eagle Scout project that benefits his community.

Inspired by the Green Tech class he took when he was in middle school, Anthony decided support Keep Austin Beautiful’s Beautify Austin initiative. The project includes the installation of a permaculture garden at Paredes Middle School. As a native Austinite, Anthony was familiar with how dry the Texas climate can be, and knew that the garden would only be able to grow a very limited number of drought resistant plants without the help of a special water system. Wanting the garden to be a place that could grow edible food and sustain native plants during droughts, Anthony calculated the amount of rain water that could be collected based in an average year, then worked within a limited budget to create the best rain collection system for the garden. He installed gutters on the tool shed and the chicken coop, as well as a 500 gallon rain barrel.

Anthony’s crucial contribution to the garden will ensure that it is a place where students can learn, meditate, and snack on school-grown foods for years to come. The school community, local volunteers, and Keep Austin Beautiful will continue to transform the garden for the next few weeks. With ongoing volunteer opportunities and a work day coming up on Saturday, February 4 from 9 – 11 am community members can still get involved in helping to transform the space. 

The permaculture installation at Paredes Middle School is part of Beautify Austin, a series of large-scale, community-based projects that focus on one targeted geographic zone for three months at a time, with follow-up projects over a one year period. Recognizing that everyone cares, but not everyone has the tools to create lasting change, these projects work in, with, and for communities to transform them.