Monroe teen partners with city for Eagle Scout project


When Taylor Chatterton decided to pursue the rank of Eagle Scout, he knew he wanted to do something to serve his community. So he connected with Monroe Stormwater Coordinator Vince Bertrand to find out how he could help the city.-á

The city has a variety of projects set aside for volunteers, Bertrand said, one of which is helping further its "Only Rain Down the DrainGÇ¥ stormwater drain messaging campaign. Chatterton was excited about the opportunity to help the city, and crafted his Eagle Scout project to promote the campaign. He took the lead on the installation of more than 200 storm drain markers in different locations around the city, including Chain Lake Road, Tjerne Place and a few of the neighborhoods near EvergreenHealth Monroe.

"It's real great to be able to get the word out about storm drain pollution, because it's actually a big thing,GÇ¥ Chatterton said. "I've seen kind of what it does.GÇ¥

The city purchased the markers, which proclaim "Only Rain Down the Drain Puget Sound Starts Here,GÇ¥ about five years ago using grant funding. They have a stockpile of them, along with adhesive, for anybody wishing to volunteer, Bertrand said. Now 18, Chatterton is the third scout to earn his Eagle rank by helping to install the markers.

"Taylor's group put in about 84 hours in the field placing the storm drain markers,GÇ¥ Bertrand said. "Volunteer work is priceless for any city, but Taylor's project saved the city approximately $4,200.GÇ¥

Chatterton managed all aspects of the project, supervised volunteers and joined them in performing the installations. Bertrand said Chatterton demonstrated strong, effective leadership, which is an important part of any Eagle Scout project.

"He stepped up to the plate,GÇ¥ Bertrand said.

The campaign was funded and implemented by the Washington State Department of Ecology to help cities achieve compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit, a federally mandated program addressing water pollution. Permit compliance is based on satisfying specific criteria, including public education and outreach about the importance of keeping the stormwater system free from contaminants. Ecology funded the "Only Rain Down the DrainGÇ¥ outreach project to help cities meet those requirements.-á

A 2016 Monroe High School graduate, Chatterton has been involved in scouting since he was around 8 years old, he said. The idea of doing something to raise awareness about stormwater pollution appealed to him, he said, because it's an important message. He said he's noticed retention ponds in the neighborhood he grew up in become murkier over time, and wanted to do something to help.-á

He began the project last year, but was hindered by the weather.-á

"The weather had to be just the right temperature and conditions for the storm drain tags to stick,GÇ¥ Chatterton said. "It couldn't be too hot, it couldn't be too cold and it couldn't be raining.GÇ¥

He got about 150 markers installed during the first phase, before the winter weather became too inclement to perform the work. He decided to wrap things up this summer, so he recruited around 11 volunteers from his church to finish the job. Eagle Scout projects must be accomplished before the scout turns 18, so Chatterton knew he had to have the project completed before the end of August.

His project was successful, and the Boy Scouts of America Mount Baker Council awarded him his Eagle Scout rank. Eagle Scout projects look great on college applications, Chatterton said, and will help demonstrate that he's not afraid of a little hard work.

"It's just something that you can have with you for the rest of your life, and it will always be helpful,GÇ¥ Chatterton said. "With every project you do later in life, you can say, "Hey, I did my Eagle Scout project. That was a lot harder than this project.' GÇ¥-á

The project will serve him well as he looks toward his future, which involves a two-year mission trip with his church, college and eventually his own business. His dream is to someday open his own auto restoration shop, and he wants to pursue a degree in diesel and auto mechanics. He discovered he had a passion for restoring and fixing old cars after he and his dad restored a 1986 Ford Bronco. -á -á

His dad purchased the Bronco because it was the same type of vehicle he drove in college. After he bought it, they spent the entire summer fixing it up, Chatterton said, which is when he realized how much he enjoyed that type of work.

Also an artist, Chatterton's favorite thing to draw is different types of cars.

Chatterton works at the True Value Hardware store in Duvall, and is currently waiting to find out where he will go on his mission trip. Service is important to him, he said, and he is looking forward to making a difference in the lives of the families he meets. His best friend, Danielle Gallagher, is currently serving in Argentina, and Chatterton has been inspired by her stories of service.-á

Chatterton said he is grateful to the city for allowing him the chance to complete his project.

"I thank the city for the opportunity that they've given me to do the service project and for everybody that's helped me out throughout the years to get this,GÇ¥ Chatterton said.

Photos courtesy of the city of Monroe Taylor Chatterton excelled at the leadership portion of his Eagle Scout project, said Monroe city staffer Vince Bertrand, which was leading a stormwater messaging campaign.


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