Designing and Building Stairs to Tyson Lagoon
by Matt Krause
Troop 448, Fremont, California

My Eagle Project took place at a wildlife reserve called Tule Ponds at Tyson Lagoon which is operated by the Math/Science Nucleus. For my project, I landscaped a piece of land approximately 15 wide and 25 long with a 60◦ incline. With this land I built steps and planted toyon bushes. 

In order to accomplish constructing the steps, right-angle cuts were made into the hill. Once the cuts were made, railroad ties measuring 6 feet in length, were placed into the impression made. Railroad ties were placed approximately 6-8 inches.  The steps are not too big for people, and will  give a lot of structure and support to the entire staircase. After the railroad tie were placed, pieces of rebar were hammered in front of the tie and fastened to the tie with staples. Three pieces of rebar will be used. Two pieces were used if the railroad tie is covered with enough soil and has no threat of being eroded. Three will be used if the tie is not completely immovable and/or has a threat of erosion. 

To prevent erosion, the steps will move sideways a little bit about half way down so the steps cannot be washed away. After all the steps are secured with the rebar, pea gravel was  poured on top of the soil separating the ties for two reasons. it  looks better and the gravel will prevent water top sweep away the soil and make the stairs collapse. The gravel was poured onto the desired are and then be smashed into the soil with a large compacter to insert them deep into the soil. After all of this, the stairs were finished.

Along the sides of the stairs, toyon was planted. A hole will be dug, and then the plant will be put in there, simple. Then after they were planted, mulch was placed on the soil the offer protection and nutrients to the plants. These shrubs will offer shelter to the indigenous wildlife. 

Workers: Bill Bain, Ken Bristow, Amber Warren, Cameron Schmidt, Alec Schmidt, Steven Seipert, Josh McMullens, , Ricardo Madrid, Ivan Garcia, Zack Lemley, John Prion, Nathan Geronimo, Ed Airth, Matt Stewart, Justin Quinton, and David Gonzales.

Thanks to Union Pacific Railways for donation of railroad ties.

[Eagle Scouts]