The Eagle Scout project involved more than 488 volunteer hours, or to be exact, 488 hours and 15 minutes.  Among the volunteers laboring on the fence, in addition to the adult volunteers, were 18 registered members of the Boy Scouts of America; forensic entomologist Robert Kimsey; Derek’s brother, Shane, 21, also an Eagle Scout; and Derek’s girlfriend, violinist Emily Talbot, 17.

“I think it’s a good project,” Derek Tully humbly acknowledged.  “I think it’s one of the most solid Eagle Scout projects I’ve seen.”

“We’re so grateful to Derek and his team for the contribution they have made to the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven,” said Melissa “Missy” Gable, program manager of the California Center for Urban Horticulture at UC Davis and involved in the garden since its very beginning. “The fence really gives the garden a sense of place and welcomes community members in to stroll the paths and enjoy the plants.  Thanks to Derek, the outside of the garden now matches the beauty of the inside.”

In organizing the project and obtaining volunteers, Tully received assistance from greenhouse superintendent Garry Pearson, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, who augured the holes for the fence posts.  

Tully said the project required 91 fence posts, 211 2x4s, 46 2x6 railings (each 20 feet long), four yards of gravel, 18 bags of concrete, and 12 rolls of wiring at 100 feet each.

Tully, who joined Tiger Cubs at age 5, worked his way up through the ranks to become a candidate for Eagle Scout, the highest rank in the Boy Scout program. To be eligible for the honor, candidates are required to earn a minimum of 21 merit badges; demonstrate scout spirit, service and leadership; organize a community project not related to scouting; and provide a detailed report of the project. Next step: Tully will appear before the Eagle Scout Board of Review. He is expected to receive his Eagle Scout rank in about a month.

In the meantime, Tully continues his studies at DaVinci Charter Academy and competes on the Davis High School water polo and swim teams, activities “way different” from working on the fence in triple-digit temperatures.

His brother Shane, a business major at Chico State University, earned his Eagle Scout rank in 2008. He built a 20-person observation deck at the Korematsu Elementary School garden, Mace Ranch, Davis.

Future plans? No, Derek Tully does not have his sights set on becoming a professional fence builder.

“I want to become a marine biologist,” he said.