By Queenie Li
Eagle Scouts have long played an integral part in the upkeep and improvement of Save Mount Diablo properties. Their work intertwines with the histories that the land tells; the benches that they built before and after the Marsh Fire are a good example.
Marsh Fire Sweeps through the Marsh Creek Watershed
In early 2018, Eagle Scout Linden Ng installed two benches at Marsh Creek 4 and Marsh Creek 6, made from commercial cedar lumber. A few months later, the Marsh Fire swept through the area, damaging the bench at Marsh Creek 4. The Marsh Creek 6 bench was fortunately spared.
A redwood tree was also damaged by the fire. Save Mount Diablo and PG&E ultimately decided to cut the tree down.
Renewal and Restoration
This was not the end for the redwood though.
What parts that could be salvaged were cut into eight-foot logs and three-inch-thick slabs. Dick Heron, longtime Save Mount Diablo volunteer and steward, used two of these slabs to repair the bench at Marsh Creek 4, allowing part of the tree to persist close to where it previously stood.
Honoring the Outdoors
The renewal and repurposing of this redwood did not end there either. Earlier this year, Eagle Scout Logan Roukis constructed another bench at Wright Canyon using the last two slabs from that redwood tree.
The bench overlooks a beautiful valley where the family who previously owned the property honored family members who had passed. The significance of the repurposed redwood is heightened, then, as it too is honored in its passing in a way.
A couple months later, fellow Eagle Scout Sai Mannava followed suit and installed a bench at Curry Canyon Ranch made from commercial lumber.
These benches provide scenic rest spots along trails, so be sure to stop by them the next time you visit Wright Canyon or Curry Canyon Ranch. Should you come across the redwood benches at Marsh Creek 4 or Wright Canyon, you will also be among the few to know the significance of the wood you are sitting on.
Eagle Scouts Committed to Stewardship
More Eagle Scouts are currently completing other projects on our properties, including constructing bird boxes and picnic tables at our upcoming educational preserve at Mangini Ranch. These installations will serve visitors for many years to come, and we are grateful for the Eagle Scouts’ work and dedication to stewardship.
Top photo by Dick Heron