Local teen supports fight against the invasive garlic mustard plant

An 18-year-old Lake Oswego resident is combating an invasive species — and helping other people do so, SUBMITTED PHOTO - Elliott Steck, a member of Boy Scout Troop 432 in Lake Grove, is working to obtain his Eagle Scout rank.

Elliott Steck’s working on obtaining his Eagle Scout rank, focusing on reducing the spread of garlic mustard by adding boot scrapers to four Springbrook Park entrances. There also are colored panels with information and photos.

“It talks about garlic mustard seeds and what they look like and how they’re spread and basically telling people to wipe their feet,” said Steck, who was a member of Boy Scout Troop 432 in Lake Grove.

He loves the outdoors and said if people don’t fight against invasives such as garlic mustard at Springbrook, “We won’t have a nice park anymore to use and go walking and for everyone to enjoy.”

Having park users wipe their feet reduces the likelihood of plant parts entering or exiting the Springbrook on the sole of a boot.

“The purpose is to educate folks who use the park about invasives,” said Paul Lyons, Friends of Springbrook Park founding and current board member.

Steck designed and welded metal frames, outfitting them with concrete pads that he poured at the kiosk entrances to Springbrook Park at: the former Uplands Elementary School site, the Lake Oswego Indoor Tennis Center, the end of Sundeleaf Drive and along Wembley Park Road. The park is near where Boones Ferry Road intersects with Kruse Way. For the project, Steck obtained permission from the city and the Friends of Springbrook Park, Lyons said. Steck raised $850 to buy the materials with support from the Friends of Springbrook Park, Uplands Neighborhood Association, friends and neighbors.

Steck is a junior at Thomas Edison High School, a private school in Portland. He is active on the dive team at Thomas Edison.

Jillian Daley can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 109.

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