A Hayes High School junior will be planting greenery outside the high school this quarter as part of her Eagle Scout project.

Amelia Stranges, a Life Scout in Troop 7318, said she’s been part of the scouts since 2019, and this spring, she’ll be creating a “pocket forest” near one of the parking lots at Hayes. Stranges said the project, which she is completing in order to earn her Eagle Scout designation, has several advantages and benefits for the local environment.

“My project is a pocket forest on the grounds of Hayes,” Stranges said Friday. “A pocket forest is a collection of native plants (trees, shrubs and flowers) that are planted in a small area. This creates more biodiversity and also helps give nutrients to the soil.”

Stranges said she got the idea after seeing a similar project and thinking it was an interesting idea.

“I heard of somebody else doing a pocket forest in North Dakota,” she said. “That was the first I (had heard of pocket forests), and I thought it was a new and exciting idea!”

Stranges said she chose the project out of a desire to help the environment.

“We need to protect our planet,” she said. “It is the only one we have and this is something that will decrease levels of CO2 and ultimately make our environment healthier.”

Stranges said she selected Hayes as the site of the project to show the project off in a public place.

“I decided to do the project at Hayes so that many people could see it and hopefully be inspired to create their own,” she said. “I hope people will understand how my project helps all of us in the community.”

Stranges added one of her goals for the project is to get local residents interested and engaged in similar projects.

“My goal is to spread the word about what I am doing and encourage others to take action and help out any way they can,” she said. “Anything helps. People can help by spreading the word! I think for this specific project I have plenty of hands-on assistance, but by explaining what I am doing to others, more people can create their own pocket forests.”

Stranges said her goal is for the project to be completed by the end of the 2021-2022 school year.

Hayes High School junior and Life Scout Amelia Stranges begins work on her “pocket forest” project outside of Hayes this week.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/03/web1_amelia-stranges.jpgHayes High School junior and Life Scout Amelia Stranges begins work on her “pocket forest” project outside of Hayes this week. Courtesy photo

By Glenn Battishill

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Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.