Butterflies got a boost this summer from a newly renovated butterfly garden at the North Pocono Public Library. A local Scout, Jack Umbaugh of Troop 132, recently planned and implemented improvements to the garden for his Eagle Scout project.
Jack’s mom, Nicole, was the person who first had the idea of upgrading the garden. Nicole was involved with the library’s Garden Club when she learned that the butterfly garden needed some work done on it. She mentioned the idea of using the garden as his Eagle Scout project, facilitated a meeting between Jack and library personnel, and helped him to organize the inception of the project.
“The library had planted the garden and my mom told me they didn't have anyone to put up the split rail fence. We also dug a trench around the gravel path and lined it with paver stones to separate it from the mulch,” explained Jack.
Jack had a lot of help with his project from local businessmen, members of the community who donated or volunteered to help the project get off the ground and reach fruition, and members of his scout troop who helped with the work.
“I would like to thank the beneficiary, Susan Jefferey, for her cooperation, and a representative of the gardening club, Ann Marie Kelly. I'd also like to thank all those who donated and volunteered, and Casper Noto and Jason Toy who helped us acquire materials,” said Jack.
In addition to those mentioned above, Jack also expressed gratitude to Trinity Gutjhar, Collin Gilmartin, Billy Havenstrite, William Trygar, Charlie Brewer, Edgar Gorke, Louis DeMatteo, Brad Williams, Aaron Witherite, Brian Castrogiovanni, Jason Castrogiovanni, Joe Castrogiovanni, and Magnus Emery for their help with the butterfly garden project.
Susan Jeffery, director of the North Pocono Public Library, was impressed with Jack’s handling of the project. “He did such a great job on this project. We engaged and partnered with businesses in the community, and he reached out to others for volunteer and donation support. Jack was respectful, responsible, conscientious, and motivated. He is the epitome of what an eagle Scout should be!” remarked Susan.
The butterfly garden is part of the landscaping of the library’s grounds. The garden contains many flowering plants, from blueberries to milkweed, that provide much-needed food sources for butterflies and other insects. It is maintained by members of the library’s Garden Club.
“The pollinator garden attracts important pollinating species of insects and makes for a good place for them to lay their eggs. It provides the proper plants their young like so they can grow and fully mature,” Jack explained. The garden can be especially important for migratory species of insects, including monarch butterflies.
Jack is 16 years old and a junior at the North Pocono High School. He is the son of Nicole and Kevin Umbaugh and a member of Boy Scout Troop 132 which meets at the Maple Lake Methodist Church in Spring Brook Twp.
“I've been a scout since first grade as a Tiger Cub. I made my way through Cub Scouts and this past year I was the Assistant Senior Patrol Leader (ASPL),” said Jack. Jack noted that his father is retired from the Air Force, so his family has moved quite a bit. The teen has learned to make friends easily, remarking, “I consider home wherever I have friends.”
Jack credits scouting with helping to make him into the type of person he is today. “The most important things I've learned through scouting are leadership and how to behave properly in public, although, when I really think about it, and scouting isn't the only influence for this, but learning to let go and be myself. It's been huge in really making my personality and making me me,” Jack stated.