Little Falls Eagle Scout project memorializes respected residents

As part of earning the rank Eagle Scout, Evan Walter of Little Falls planted trees in memory of Sarah Maud Sievertsen and Ed Tanner for the Morrison County Historical Society.

Before Evan Walter of Little Falls departed for college, he left something behind that will be remembered by many.

By the fence line of the Morrison County Historical Society (MCHS) in Little Falls stands two fruit trees that he and his fellow scouts recently planted as part of Walter’s project, helping him attain the rank of Eagle Scout.

The trees were planted in memory of Sarah Maud Sievertsen (pear) and Ed Tanner (plum) — both whom had direct ties to the MCHS and the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Museum.

Sievertsen was the daughter of Charles A. Weyerhaeuser, after whom the museum is named. She died Jan. 12, 2008 at the age of 100.

Tanner and his wife, Lucy, were involved with MCHS for a long time and donated several items to the collection, said Mary Warner, MCHS executive director.

He died Dec. 15, 2015 and was related to one of the oldest families from the Little Falls/Morrison County area.

“His family in the area dates back to from like the 1850s,” Warner said.

What inspired Evan to plant trees was when his own family planted one in memory of his Uncle Jason Walter.

“He died as a result of a motorcycle accident on July 17, 2004. He was 31 years old,” said Evan’s mom, Rebecca.

The road to become an Eagle Scout was not easy. First, Evan had to achieve the ranks of tenderfoot, second class, first class, star and life. As a result, he has earned 32 merit badges throughout the years.

In order to even be considered being named an Eagle Scout, Evan had to complete a service project that would either benefit a religious organization, a school or a community organization.

As MCHS has previously planted trees in memory of deceased people who were connected to the organization in some manner, the MCHS was perfect for the project, Evan said.

As part of earning the Eagle Scout rank, Evan planned, developed and led his fellow troop members in executing the project.

Evan’s parents, Jim and Rebecca, said they are very proud of their son forachieving the Eagle Scout rank.

“He worked very hard during his years as a scout. I’m so proud of him,” Rebecca said.

Throughout the journey, Jim has watched Evan mature into the young man he is today. He believes Evan being in the Boy Scouts has helped prepare him for life. Not only in developing leadership skills, but also in how to be a team worker.

“I’m so proud of him. Working together with people is not just something you can do by getting everything done yourself. It makes you learn how to work as a team,” Jim said.

Warner is very happy with the job Evan and the rest of Troop 65 accomplished. Before he planted the trees, Evan researched online about how to properly plant a tree and followed the directions, Warner said.

“Evan did an excellent job. He was very conscientious (concerned with doing something correctly) and did a great job leading the other Scouts. It’s a great quality,” Warner said.

Evan said he enjoyed working on his project. The best part was being around the people and working with his fellow Scouts.

The dream of achieving Eagle Scout rank has been a longtime dream of Evan’s. By watching other older Scouts work their way toward earning the title, Evan said he knew he wanted to do that one day. His older brother, Max is an Eagle Scout, as well.

“I looked up to them,” he said.

Now he hopes to be an inspiration and encouragement to his younger brothers, Caleb and Kyle and to other Scouts. His sister Amanda’s sons also look up to him and their other uncles, Rebecca said.

Looking ahead, Evan believes his achievement of Eagle Scout will help him on many levels. He’s currently attending the University of North Dakota to study chemical engineering and pre-medical. He plans to either become a surgeon, an oncologist or a chemical engineer for NASA.