Tico Matthias and Austin Carney officially presented their Eagle Scout project — a community garden for the Community Meals Council soup kitchen — on Aug. 27.
A ceremony adjacent to the garden honored the hard work of the two scouts to organize and build the project, as well as all the volunteers who gave time and materials to the project.
Both Matthias and Carney are juniors this year at Tahoma High School.
Matthias explained while he and Carney were den chiefing — which means helping with a group of Cub Scouts — the den leader suggested that a community garden should be build, and the two young men ran with the idea.
The land for the garden, which is located next to Mama Passarelli’s in Black Diamond, was in the works to be donated for a community garden and the boys took on planning and executing the building and the first planting of the garden.
The process started last September and took over 300 hours of work.
Both expressed relief that the garden had come together and was completed.
“I was stressed out,” Carney said, to which Matthias agreed.
“I think it’s pretty cool,” Carney said. “It’s an ongoing project.”
The tentative plan, they said, is for scout troops to oversee care of the garden.
“It went by really fast,” Matthias said. “It came out really nice.”
To complete the project, the pair raised over $3,000 in in-kind and monetary donations.
Matthias and Carney started in Cub Scouts when they were in second grade and have one merit badge each to go before achieving the 24 badges required of Eagle Scouts.
Rep. Dave Reichert attended the ceremony and spoke about the importance of servant leadership, commending Matthias and Carney for their work to help the community.
The garden is already producing, and so far this year already 100 pounds of produce have been donated.
The Community Meal Council was formed in 2011 and is today comprised of four churches: High Road Community Church, Black Diamond Hobart Community Church, Hobart Cedarcreek Covenant Church, and Maple Valley Enumclaw Church of the Nazarene. Meals are served every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 5-7 p.m. at one of several locations in the community.
Pastor Tom Stark of High Road Church is one of the leaders of the program.
Stark said the program started with two women in the community who wanted to put on a meal for those in need one time, and that it took off and became a weekly occurrence and continued to grow.
Stark said that the garden will help the program because it relies heavily on what is in season at the time when putting together meals.
“If it wasn’t given to us we have to go out and collect it or purchase it,” Stark said.”
For more information about the meals provided by the Community Meal Council visit www.highroadchurch.org/missions/index.html.