Though it’s near the end of the growing season, a large community garden on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fox Cities campus is shining brightly as 15 years of overgrowth was removed and new fencing installed.
Garden beautification efforts―two years in the making―were led by Eagle Scout candidate Elijah Eisen, 17, a junior at Appleton North High School, along with support from Bill Bultman, an emeritus faculty member and Rose Marie Lewis, senior technician on the UWO Fox Cities campus.
Eisen provided much-needed tender loving care to the area and installed new fencing to keep deer and other animals at bay. The garden plots allow individuals and families in the community to grow their own food and flowers. The previous fencing was missing and broken and allowed deer to feast on the garden “like a buffet,” according to gardeners.
With various delays―not the least included the coronavirus pandemic―Eisen is happy the project has finally been completed. He says he was 14 years old when he started planning the garden updates. He had talked to Lewis, unofficial scouting coordinator on campus, about potential Eagle Scout projects.
“Since the beginning, this (Eagle Scout) was my goal,” Eisen said. “I didn’t feel I accomplished it if I did something small. I wanted one of the biggest projects she had.”
Though Eisen wondered really how hard the project to put up an eight-foot wire fence could be, he soon learned it would take hundreds of volunteer hours digging through layers of clay―and a lot of money.
“I was very up front with him (Eisen) about the scope and complexity of the project, but he has proven to be a very capable and diligent scout,” said Lewis, senior laboratory prep technician at the UWO Fox Cities campus.
Lewis, herself an Eagle Scout mom,