Published April 3, 2010 in The Oregonian’s SW Weekly-West Linn section hyperlocal site logonewx

Taylor Wells, 17, a member of West Linn Boy Scout Troop 149, began thinking about doing his Eagle Scout project at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church a couple of years ago as a way to give back to the church where he and his family have been members since 1998.

“I wanted to give a gift to the church,” Wells said. West Linn Boy Scout builds memorial garden for church as his Eagle Scout project taylor-wellsjpg-5c69af8b4a3edbf2_large

He came up with the idea of a memorial garden after seeing another Eagle Scout candidate create a labyrinth at a nearby church.

Paul Quackenbush, who is co-pastor of the West Linn church with his wife, Cathy Quackenbush, said, “We looked at the church and saw an atrocious spot in the front, a fence broken, and Taylor thought of a memorial garden, and the idea grew from there.”

Groundbreaking took place the first weekend in March; work has continued each weekend, including part of spring break. Scouts, parents of Scouts and friends have put in up to 200 hours of work that has included digging out the 10-by-10-foot area, leveling it, placing pavers and planting plants.

The memorial garden is a paver patio in the shape of a cross and has native plants around it, with a fountain in the middle and three benches. Taylor raised funds for the project by selling memorial pavers, and the church helped with some of the other expenses.

Taylor’s father, Jeff Wells, assistant scoutmaster with Troop 149, said, “I am so proud of my son. He had to get in front of the church leadership a couple of times and in front of the entire church to announce what he wanted to do.”

“It is very exciting watching Taylor take on this project, and especially seeing him grow up into the man he is becoming,”

Quackenbush said, “This project is going to have a lasting effect at our church. It is absolutely lovely.”

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