Apr 08 2017

BSA Eagle Project Honors Pioneer Environmentalist Aldo Leopold

Posted at 8:58 am under Kruse House

Driving up to his family’s cottage in Northwest Wisconsin, Darrah Beebe has often stopped at the Rest Area honoring Aldo Leopold and his pioneering Sand County Almanac. When it came time to choose a project for his Boy Scout Eagle Rank, his grandmother suggested that he build some of Leopold’s iconic benches.

Leopold designed his simple and comfortable bench during the first part of the twentieth century to create a place where people would pause to rest and contemplate nature. Trying to think of an appropriate place to put his project, Darrah immediately thought of the Kruse House Museum Garden in his home town of West Chicago. The house was built in 1917 and reflects the typical life of a railroad family at that time. The Kruse sisters, who donated the house to the people of West Chicago, were avid gardeners and the West Chicago Garden Club has established and maintained a public garden there in their honor. What better place to honor Leopold’s love of nature than in a quiet garden in the midst of a busy shopping area?

The garden club agreed to pay for the materials and Darrah and Troop 99 went to work. Now people can pause in this lovely garden (which was featured in The Secret Gardens of Chicago on HGTV) and and become part of Leopold’s vision of “harmony with the land”.

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