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Girl Scouts develop wild bird habitat in native plant garden

Project offers educational opportunities at McAllister Elementary

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POSTED: March 15, 2017 8:44 a.m.
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Girl Scout Kyle Hayes gets some help from Rachel Gregory in hanging a bluebird box.

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Members of Girl Scout Junior Troop 30261 rolled up their sleeves Saturday at McAllister Elementary to work on a wild bird habitat the troop is developing as part of a larger school yard habitat project.

The troop is doing the project to earn its Bronze Award, the third highest leadership award in Girl Scouting.  The scouts are planting native plants in a new native plant garden.  In addition, they are developing a wild bird habitat within the garden. On Saturday, the Girl Scouts assembled and hung bird feeders, and installed Eastern bluebird nesting boxes adjacent to the school.

“Our hope is to provide an opportunity for nature to inspire students, teachers, parents and our community,” said Kimberly Hayes, who works for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and has a daughter in the troop. “Today, we’re installing two bird feeding stations and a hummingbird feeder, as well as three bluebird boxes. We’ll also be tending the pollinator garden.”

The troop members planted milkweed and passion flower – host plants for several butterflies – along with beech rosemary and blue star grass and used pine straw mulch to discourage unwanted plants.

Troop leader Kristin Caravella said the project will provide educational opportunities for Bryan County students and teachers, as well as environmental benefits for the area.

“This project is part of a larger program to develop the entire campus into a schoolyard habitat,” Caravella said. “Future plans include a dedicated space geared to wild bird education in the school Media Center, whose windows look out into the garden, with plans for an interactive bird identification station.”

Hayes noted that the sustainability of the project is important to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Efforts will be taken to involve all grade levels at the school and the community to develop a sense of ownership,” she said. “We are excited to help the program get started and watch it grow.” 

Troop 30261 Girl Scouts echoed those sentiments and said they are excited to take action via the Bronze Award project and live out part of the Girl Scout Law, which is to “make the world a better place.”

For more information, visit gshg.org, or contact Troop Leader Kristin Caravella at 920-636-8115 or kristin.caravella@gmail.com.

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