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FROM STAFF REPORTS
Aurora -- Moebius Nature Center in Aurora recently was the site of a multi-phase Eagle Scout project by local Eagle Scout candidate Scott Carlson of Troop 265.
He managed the work day of several Scouts, family and friends to complete the four phases -- a stone fire pit for nature center programs, irrigation ditches around the pit and barn area, dual rain barrels and a large milkweed garden to help the monarch butterfly migration.
Carlson looked for an opportunity to help create an outdoor meeting area for the nature center, and found the chance when the nature center's Kim Pease mentioned possibly wanting a fire pit in an area that at the time was unused.
The idea had its share of problems, though. It was out of reach of most water sources in case of a fire, and the ground was soggy from pond water runoff.
To remedy this, drainage ditches were dug to dry the soil, and rain barrels were made to provide an emergency water source and a source of water for nearby plants and gardens.
The monarch butterfly population has dropped to extremely low levels in the past few years for several reasons; pesticides, development and extreme weather have contributed to the decline.
Milkweed varieties are the only host plant in which the monarchs will lay eggs. Without milkweed, the monarch cannot multiply.
Carlson became aware of the dire situation of the butterfly population while watching an IMAX film at the Great Lakes Science Center during Christmas break.
In a presentation to Aurora City Council, Carlson and Cub Scouts from Pack 3444 pointed out that the city lies directly in the migration path of the monarchs.
He applied for and received milkweed plugs from MonarchWatch.org, an organization dedicated to saving the population.
The new 400-square-foot habitat at Moebius consists of milkweed plugs, along with full-grown plants and various seedlings from Ohio Prairie Nurseries in Hiram.
As part of a summer project, and to show their support, Cub Pack 3444 planted plugs and will monitor and care for them all year. Jason Miller of Buckeye Outdoor Creations donated labor, clearing sod for the fire pit area and delivering several materials.
The Eagle rank is the highest a Boy Scout can earn. The project portion is one of several requirements. After a proposal is approved at several levels, the Eagle candidate must raise funds, plan, develop and manage the project from start to finish.
Troop 265 meets at 7 p.m. Mondays at the Masonic Temple on West Pioneer Trail. Cub Pack 3444 meets at 7 p.m. the first Monday of each month at Centerville Mills lodge.