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Tosa Boy Scouts Rehab Patient Courtyard

High school freshman Paul Gagne is one step closer to becoming an Eagle Scout.  

Over the weekend, he and about 30 members of the Wauwatosa Boy Scout Troop #21 renovated a patient courtyard at the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division that had fallen into disrepair.  

"I thought it would be kind of nice to put in somewhere could go and get some fresh air," Gagne said.

The scouts dug up weeds that had taken over the courtyard and replaced them with shrubs, flowers and a fresh layer of mulch.  They also added new benches to the space.

Gagne, 15, said organizing the project was the last requirement to earn his Eagle Scout badge.

"When I was in fifth grade I set that goal to get my Eagle Scout.  Finally finishing it is pretty cool," he said.

Gagne's plan was to create a "healing garden" for patients dealing with mental health issues.  The design -- donated by Hawks Nursery in Wauwatosa -- included fragrant sage bushes and other flowering plants.  

Staff at the Behavioral Health Division said the new courtyard is a welcomed change.

"From the patient's standpoint, sometimes just putting beauty as a part of the environment is part of that healing process," said Dr. Justin Kuehl, a clinical psychologist for Milwaukee County.

Scouts completed the project Saturday.  The courtyard is now open to patients.