Senior Installs Meditation Garden to Provide Students Stress-Free Space

When+senior+Jake+Parrish+had+to+come+up+with+a+project+for+his+Eagle+Scout+badge%2C+he+immediately+thought+of+an+old+idea+he+had+about+providing+a+place+at+RHS+for+students+to+escape+stress+and+reduce+anxiety.+Talon+Photo+by+John+Hydrick

When senior Jake Parrish had to come up with a project for his Eagle Scout badge, he immediately thought of an old idea he had about providing a place at RHS for students to escape stress and reduce anxiety. Talon Photo by John Hydrick

John Hydrick

When senior Jake Parrish had to come up with a project for his Eagle Scout badge, he immediately thought of an old idea he had about providing a place at RHS for students to escape stress and reduce anxiety.

His idea culminated in a meditation garden installed in the courtyard between A and B halls that features a gravel area and bench beneath a canopy of trees.

“I want it to bring people together and for others to work and add onto it so it can have a lasting and changing impact and constantly provide a safe place for the students at RHS,” Jake said.

Jake’s mom, English teacher Karen Parrish, hopes to see students use the garden for a variety of purposes.

“The garden isn’t just for meditating, but for a mental break from everything school-wise,” Karen Parrish, English teacher at RHS, said.

During the project Jake had to get approval from assistant principal Bill Parker before he could go to the district and get the school board’s approval, a monthlong process.

“Jake had to bring me what his idea was, his renderings, and where he wanted to locate it, and my job was to make sure it was feasible,” Parker said.

Some of the materials that Jake wanted to use for the garden were not approved at the start of the project.

“The district did push back on some of the materials due to maintenance issues because they required higher grade materials so it could last longer,” Parker said. When it did get approved he went to work.” Through many hours of paperwork and preparation, he developed and worked on his project with the guidance and assistance of his Troop Scoutmaster, Lester Cox.

The meditation garden is a border of pavers, 128″ x 126,” with loose gravel and individual pavers inside the perimeter and a custom 48″ x 22″ bench built by Jake.

“When it was time for his Eagle Project, there are all different things that you can do to update or renovate a place which is great, but he wanted to do something for the high school and his friends,” Karen said.

Jake hopes future organizations to add to his project to make it even more useful to students.

“Depending on the upgrades, approvals would have to be met with the district –generally they are very generous with the approvals,” Parker said. “I think it looks great, and I hope that students use it for years to come.”

After receiving a final merit badge, Jake will be recognized at a ceremony called Court of Honor where his troop, friends and family can attend.

“This was my final step before achieving Eagle Scout – It’s been a long journey to get here,” he said.