southtownstar
SIMMERING 
Weather Updates

Frankfort teen’s Eagle Scout project has wings

As an Eagle Scout project Bob Mueller 14 Frankfort created this butterfly garden with variety plants arbors butterfly houses signs

As an Eagle Scout project, Bob Mueller, 14, of Frankfort, created this butterfly garden with a variety of plants, arbors, butterfly houses and signs at Frankfort's Main Park. | Susan DeMar Lafferty~Sun-Times Media

storyidforme: 57047375
tmspicid: 20858371
fileheaderid: 9741761

Updated: December 1, 2013 8:18AM



Frankfort teen Bob Mueller is a nature lover who likes to get his hands dirty. So creating a butterfly garden seemed like a naturally good idea for his Eagle Scout project.

It’s been on Bob Johnson’s wish list for Frankfort’s Main Park for awhile, so when Mueller turned to the park district’s superintendent of building and grounds for ideas, he eagerly took Johnson’s suggestion and ran with it.

After securing two patches of ground at the park, the 14-year-old Scout from New Lenox Troop 49 set to work, armed with 90 plants, four cubic yards of mulch and a ton of flagstone.

The area — just off the Nebraska Street parking lot near the Puent Educational Building — now is filled with dwarf lilac bushes, tickweed, coneflowers, asters, meadow sage and black-eyed Susans, amid five butterfly houses.

Two handcrafted arbors are the future trellises for honeysuckle vines, and flagstone paths invite visitors and nearby preschoolers to learn about and explore the butterfly world — all explained in three colorful signs.

Mueller said he tends to “set the bar high,” and his garden is living proof of that. Butterflies already have been spotted in the area, he said.

“I made it much larger than I planned,” the Providence Catholic High School student said. It’s also one of the more expensive Eagle Scout projects in his troop, at an estimated cost of $4,000.

In addition to researching the types of plants to attract, grow and sustain butterflies and their eggs, Mueller designed the garden with Johnson’s help and raised funds for it.

He was able to get some materials donated and obtained others at a reduced cost. Family, friends and businesses also pitched in, and fundraising efforts continue, he said.

Mueller, assisted by 20 fellow Scouts and 10 adults, got the job done in nine hours on one Saturday in September — the one day he was free from marching band and karate.

He doesn’t have a favorite plant, or feature.

“I like it all,” he said. “It’s more than I thought it would be.”

Once he submits his final paperwork, he officially will add the Eagle Scout award to the other 21 badges he already has earned in his three years in Scouts, and he plans to earn more.

“He handled it all on his own. He put a lot of time and effort into it,” Johnson said, adding that a lot of Eagle Scouts come to him for project ideas. “It turned out really nice. It’s really a good addition to the park.”

Since it is nestled between the preschool building and the playground, it provides a “teaching tool” for youngsters, Johnson said.

“This is something we’ve always wanted to do. As it develops and grows more, it will get better looking every year,” he said.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.