As of Tuesday, January 20, 2015
There's an ornamental garden popping up at Lower Valley Hospice and Palliative Care's office on North Outlook Road. That's because Ethan Partch of Outlook is busy this week earning his Eagle Scout badge. Partch will be a senior at Sunnyside High School this coming fall and turns 18 next month - which is the cut-off limit for earning Eagle Scout honors. Concerned about the approaching deadline, Partch found the idea for his project with help from hospice director Ron Jetter. Partch said Jetter has been helpful with other scouts seeking the Eagle status, such as an Eagle Scout project that installed a handicap-access ramp to the hospice office. Pointed in the right direction to spruce up a stretch of ground in need of a makeover along North Outlook Road, Partch went to work and, with help and advice from Yellow Rose Nursery in Prosser, started about two weeks ago on the project. This week he is wrapping up the work with help from his dad, Jim, and other scouts. "He came home one day from first grade and said he wanted to be a Cub Scout," Jim smiled. The younger Partch has stuck with it ever since. "He's been at it so long it'd be a shame if he didn't finish his Eagle," Jim said. To that end, Ethan Partch is doing just that. Earlier this week he and the crew he supervises - "I'm just a helper, he's the project boss," laughs his father - laid down a weed barrier, then followed that with decorative bark dust to add the finishing touch. Previously, he installed a drip line and planted several perennials that over time will fill in the space. But that's not quite the end of this makeover, as the teen also plans to apply a new coat of paint to the hospice office's street sign. The Partch's have a small farm in Outlook, and Ethan says his future plans include pursuing studies in ag economics.