RILEY TWP — Scouting, among many other things, is all about perseverance, hard work, commitment to a cause. For Ottawa-Glandorf Sophomore and Troop 229 Scout Sam Schroeder, he needed all that and more to push through his chosen Eagle Scout project.

Roughly halfway between the villages of Ottawa and Pandora, on a stretch of narrow country road that parallels Riley Creek and Cranberry Run, The Quarry Farm Nature Preserve and Conversation Farm squats on roughy 50 acres, the bulk of which is cautiously maintained forest. Here, in the densest areas, thorny honey locust trees mingle with walnut and sugar maples to create a dense canopy. On the fringes — along paths and around an 11 acre meadow at the heart of the wilder lands — elm and cherry trees scrabble for a hold among invasive and virtually omnipresent bush honeysuckle. It’s in just such a spot, along a main trail leading up through river bottom to the big back field, that Sam held court, cleared a rough circle of order some 30 feet in diameter from the chaotic growth of invasives. Six six-foot long benches line the back of the clearing, facing the path and a central open space.

“It’s an outdoor classroom,” Sam said, standing at its center, dwarfed by the trees that spring up behind him. “It’s something they’ve wanted for a while.”

Here and there in the cleared area, the stumps of bushes and trees — most just a few inches in diameter — jut up three to six inches; bits and pieces the Quarry Farm’s facilitators wanted left in place to foster fungi and insects and the animals that interact with them.

“I’ve been here a few times at different camps,” Sam said, remarking his mother, who is actively involved in scouting, has made more than one trip here with her Cub Scouts. “It just seems like the kind of place that can use something like this.”

As for the project itself, the process, Sam acknowledged it offered its own set of problems to solve.

“Getting back here was pretty hard,” Sam quipped, then grew more serious. “I think the biggest challenge was just getting started,” he said, looking across the clearing he’d carved out from scrub trees and shrubs, all the while keeping an eye out for walnuts and maples the site’s facilitators wanted to maintain. “It was a big job to tackle.”

With this project complete, Sam said there’s likely more to come, more assistance to give to The Quarry Farm.

“I’ve got a brother coming into this,” he said, remarking that making the most of Scouting runs in the family. “I’ll probably help him out. And he’ll probably come back here.”