INDEPENDENCE — Visitors to Inspiration Gardens in Mt. Fir Park now have a safer path to walk along the south fork of Ash Creek.

Jackson Warren, of Boy Scout Troup 38, and a crew of about 20 volunteers laid gravel on a half-mile area on June 1.

A couple of weeks before the Eagle Scout candidate started, his father and grandfather prepped the path, making it more level.

“We spent five hours prepping,” Jackson said.

The Inspiration Garden is a multi-year project of the Master Gardeners.

Jackson’s grandparents, Sylvia and Larry Warren, are involved with the rose garden at the location and connected Jackson with the Master Gardeners for his Eagle Scout project.

On June 1, Jackson and his family showed up at 8 a.m.

“Everyone else showed up and started working at 9:15 a.m.,” Jackson said. “I’ve been out here six or seven times to get an idea of what I’m doing.”

Jackson, 16, joined the Boy Scouts a week before he turned 15.

“My dad said I should go to meetings,” he said.

So he did.

“When it turned out I knew everyone there, I said, ‘why didn’t I do this sooner?’”

Most boys in Scouts start when they are younger and have more time to earn the 21 badges required to qualify for Eagle Scout.

Because he didn’t join until he was 15, Jackson had some catching up to do.

In about four months, he earned 18 badges.

He said he looked for badges he could earn in a single day.

For one of those, he went to the Linn-Benton Community College Advanced Transportation Technology Center in Lebanon.

“That was a really cool space,” he said.

He changed oil and spark plugs, and learned how to identify a vehicle if the plates are removed.

“Eagle requirements are designed — they want you to prove you can do things,” Jackson said.

They address certain aspects of life that are important, he said, such as personal fitness, finance and cooking.

Jackson said he likes to cook.

“It’s just fun, plus food is good,” he said.

After this, he has to earn three more badges — personal management, emergency preparedness, and personal fitness.

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