Eagle project brings gardening to Center residents

Paul Clark
Black Mountain News

Residents of the Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center have a place to garden, thanks to a local Boy Scout’s Eagle Scout project.

From left, mayor Miken Sobol (posing in wheelchair); Daniel Campuzano-Gomez; Kameron Creasman; Kim Hensley; Carter Blaisdell (project coach); Greg Adams; Carolyn Severin; Greta Reath, acting director of NC Neuro-Medical Treatment Center; Sam and Joan Tolley; Jacob Tolley (project director); Terry McClellan; and Mark Clegg pose with the gardening bed Jacob Tolley oversaw.

With the help of volunteers he led and coordinated, Jacob Tolley built a raised bed at the residential treatment center that is accessible to ambulatory and wheelchair residents.

“As one of his volunteer helpers, I followed his instructions,” said Carter Blaisedell, Tolley’s coach on the project. “He showed constructive creativity with this project, took ownership of the design and execution. He's a soft-spoken, humble, self-confident young man who leads by example.”

Tolley, a member of Troop 50, said he got the idea for the raised bed two months ago from Michael Sobol, the mayor of Black Mountain.

The bed, made of pressure-treated 2x4s, exterior plywood and roofing metal, is 10.5 feet long and 5 feet wide. It slopes to allow for drainage and is now filled with soil. The project cost about $250, paid for largely by Sobol but also from a fundraiser and donations that Tolley collected at his father’s shop, Black Mountain Machine and Tool.

Tolley and his group of volunteers, including his brother, aunt, fellow Scouts and workers at his father’s business, built the bed Sept. 22-24. The crew worked from a sketch that Tolley created (after the project was approved by the center and the Daniel Boone Council of the Boy Scouts).

 “I had to find someone with a wheelchair to figure how high the bed had to be to roll under it,” Tolley said. “And I had to go to the site and figure out where to put it.”

An Eagle Scout project must benefit the community and not be a money-making venture, according to the Boy Scouts of America website. Eagle Scouts have to plan and lead their projects.

Tolley, a senior at Owen High School, plans to volunteer with the Black Mountain Fire Department upon graduation. A hunter and fisher whose senior project at the high school is taxidermy, he is undecided about a career, he said.