Drake Myers of Culver City Boy Scout Troop 113 led a group of 20 fellow scouts and 40 more volunteers on Saturday to plant several dozen trees in the Stinson Ranch area of Sylmar, a semi-rural community about 35 miles northwest of downtown that was devastated by a wildfire last year.
Myers, a 15-year-old sophomore at Culver City High, said he organized the project “to help restore the area’s natural habitat” and maybe even “bring some more hope” to the 500 families who lost their homes when the so-called Sayre Fire swept through the foothills of Angeles National Forest in November.
“I was watching the fire on TV and was wishing I could help,” said Myers, a longtime Scout and one of the captains of Culver’s lacrosse team.
The young man couldn’t don a firefighter’s suit at the time, but soon conjured up the idea of planting new trees to rejuvenate the area as part of his efforts to gain his Eagle Scout status—the highest ranking that Boy Scouts USA awards.
Myers then asked TreePeople, a non-profit group that plants new trees throughout Southern California, for help on the project. The organization agreed to provide tree saplings and planting instructions, as well as several volunteers to aid the Culver City troop in digging new holes, staking the trees and fertilizing the soil.
Following TreePeople’s policy, each of the newly planted trees on Saturday was given a “personal” name. The first was named “Miranda,” a nod to the scout’s younger sister who attends Culver City Middle School.
Drake Myers is the son of Carole and David Myers, both of whom have been involved in several community events in the past.
David Myers was a member of his son’s same Boy Scout Troop 113 four decades ago and currently serves as real estate editor of The Observer.
In closing the daylong tree-planting event, Drake Myers thanked Albert and Ursula Vera—owners of Sorrento Italian Market--and others that made contributions to make his tree-planting project turn into reality.