Good News: Boy Scouts Help Nature, Plant Willows on Buffalo Bayou

A Wonder Tree Containing One of the World’s Most Essential Medicines


April 2, 2020

A couple of months ago, as part of his Eagle Scout project, Troop 55 Life Scout James Sy organized fellow Boy Scouts to plant over 100 black willow stakes on a bank of Buffalo Bayou in Memorial Park.

Working with Memorial Park Conservancy Forestry Supervisor Danny Walton, James and his volunteers harvested over 150 willow saplings from another part of the park and pounded them by hand into a sandy embankment. As part of his project, James studied willows, learning willow growth, harvesting techniques, site location and how to place the stakes.

Nature’s Engineering, Vital Services, Vital Medicine

Willows grow naturally on Buffalo Bayou, planted there in good time for good reason (bank stabilization, among other things). This is part of nature’s ancient engineering and landscaping program. Willows, like many plants, contain a growth hormone, Gibberellic acid, which is also produced commercially to stimulate plant root growth. So willows grow well without any help—except perhaps for the beavers who come along to prune the branches, creating denser growth. Yes, we have beaver providing that essential service on Buffalo Bayou.

In addition, willows (salix) contain salicin, which produces salicylic acid, known to us as aspirin, considered one of the world’s essential medicines. Here is more info on the benefits of willows from Foraging Texas.

A Photo Update

James’ Eagle Scout advisor was Save Buffalo Bayou board member Janice Walden, who is also a paddling program leader for Troop 55 and a co-founder of Friends of Don Greene and the Don Greene Nature Park. Recently she went out to check on the progress of the young willows. “All the willows have taken root and are doing well,” she reported.

Black willow planted by Boy Scout James Sy and volunteers as part of his Eagle Scout project. Photo Janice Walden, March 28, 2020


Black willows planted by Boy Scouts on Buffalo Bayou in Memorial Park. Photo by JW March 28, 2020

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