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Eagle scout project 'builds up' at school garden

Alex Shreeve;
Alex Shreeve;
Credit: Courtesy Alex Shreeve

Alex Shreeve was looking for an Eagle Scout project when he heard that Canyon Vista Elementary School (CVES) in Aliso Viejo needed more gardens. The school had limited space, so Shreeve decided to build a vertical garden.

On March 8, Savannah’s Organic Garden at CVES got its first vertical garden. Shreeve, a Boy Scout for the past six years, installed the garden with the help of more than 30 volunteers from the community.

“My Vertical Garden project was combined with another Eagle Scout project that had previously built and installed four planter boxes.” said Shreeve, an eighth grader at Oxford Preparatory Academy. “These two projects will help fulfill Savannah’s dream of creating and encouraging new ways to learn about gardening and nature.”

Savannah Sachen died at age eight of a rare form of cancer. Her dream was to have an organic farm when she grew up, and to educate others on the benefits of eating organic foods. To honor Savannah, her parents, Joe and Lisa Sachen, founded Savannah’s Organic Ranch, a non-profit organization that creates organic gardens at local schools.

Shreeve’s project is the organization’s first vertical garden. “The schools have limited space for more planters but they have nearly unlimited space if you build up,” Shreeve said.

“Also, the Woolly Pockets used to create the vertical garden allow the school to insert and remove plants with ease,” said Shreeve. “Both the planters and the vertical garden are fed by a water-saving drip system that was customized for the project.”

To help fund the construction of Shreeve’s vertical garden, the Aliso Niguel Community Foundation (ANCF) created an Alex Shreeve Eagle Scout Project website which is available for donations through March 21. Proceeds will go directly to the Vertical Garden Eagle Scout Project. Any additional funds raised will be donated to Savannah’s Organic Ranch.

“Savannah has really inspired us,” said Shreeve, “and so many others to participate as well, and we are excited to contribute to her legacy.”