Crescent Valley freshman, and former Hoover Elementary student, Blake Byer recently completed his Eagle Scout project at Hoover Elementary School in the natural habitat area of the school. Blake started planning in September and finished the project in late April. The project included identification of native species with markers, clean-up of the riparian area, and installation of a new trail head sign/kiosk at the entry to the natural area. He spent 35 hours on the project and there were a total of 95 total volunteer hours.
The natural area at Hoover is unique because it is home to so many native plants including Oregon Grape (the state flower), Nootka rose, bigleaf maple, Camas lily, Oregon white oak, Douglas fir, and sword ferns. “Hoover is also home to a riparian habitat with many macroinvertebrates like crayfish and mayflies,” says Blake. “When I was at Hoover, the creek wasn’t used as much as an outdoor learning area but I definitely learned about the types of macroinvertebrates in the creek.”
As a Hoover student, some of Blake’s favorite memories are from his teachers Mrs. McNutt and Mrs. Hayes. He remembers taking care of bean sprouts in class and watching monarch butterflies go through metamorphosis. After the butterflies emerged from their cocoons, they were released in the middle of the Hoover habitat. In 2014, as part of the 4-H Wildlife Summit, he and his classmates were selected to provide tours of the habitat to younger students from other schools. “That is part of the reason I did my project here,” shared Blake. “I wanted to give something back to the school that helped me become the person I am today.”
Blake is a varsity Crescent Valley High School athlete in track and cross country. In his free time he goes running with his twin brother and in school, he enjoys math, science, and art.
Thank you Blake!