Eagle Scout revitalization project at Starside Elementary
Starside Elementary now has a newly refurbished outdoor pond area, thanks to USD 232 student, Logan Mall. For the past 25 years, Starside has maintained a pond area on its premises. Although the pond was entirely renovated nine years ago, there remained work to be done in restoring the surroundings to a suitable state for use by students and staff. Starside teacher and pond caretaker, Jaimee Berry, approached Boy Scout Troop 54, asking for help with improvements so it could be used again as an outdoor classroom area. De Soto High School sophomore, Logan Mall, accepted the challenge as part of his Eagle Award requirements in March 2023.
Logan led a group of approximately 15 volunteers and got to work. The group poured concrete footings for the newly placed benches and carefully set stones in mortar around the pond. To help keep the area clear from weeds and flooding, they built a retaining wall, installed metal edging, and placed landscape fabric and additional rock for a walking path in and around the pond. As part of his service project, Logan approached several local businesses for discounts on the items needed to complete this project. Thanks to donations, additional fundraising, and free equipment rentals, the pond revitalization project was completed in August 2023.
Students at Starside now can use this outdoor space again to learn about life science, take a soothing brain break, or quietly indulge in a book amid nature. As Jaimee Berry shared, “We are grateful to have a calm and beautiful place to get outdoors to learn or relax.”
From top left: Starside pond area - before shot; Starside pond area - after shot, with Scout Logan Mall; Teamwork on project day; Eagle Scout Project plaque; new Starside pond area. Before-and-after pond images and teamwork photo provided by the Mall family.