BEAVERCREEK — May 14 marked the end to nine fifth graders’ journey to earn the Bronze Award with the Girl Scouts. The girls of Troop 35378 and leader, Mary Ann Wagner have been planning this moment since last November. It was a bittersweet ending to this first step to the Gold.
The girls of Girl Scout Troop 35378 began searching for a project to complete to help them earn their Bronze pin beginning last fall.
“They worked with Kim Ferrell at the Beavercreek Park, Recreation and Cultural department to think of things they could do to help improve the community,” Troop leader Mary Ann Wagner said. “We wanted to do something that wouldn’t require a lot of continued commitment but still improved the beauty of the community.”
Though many ideas had been thrown around, such as bird feeders — which would require a scheduled commitment to refile them every week- they finally decided to help out the efforts of the improvements at Shoup Park on Meadow Bridge Drive, off Dayton-Xenia Road. Shoup Park recently underwent renovation by the city with new playground equipment and cleanup. So, to help with the beautifying efforts, the Girl Scouts added the final finishing touches.
So, with a plan in mind, the girls set out to make plans to provide wooden, handmade planters that would contain annual flowers and evergreens, provide mulching around trees, landscaping and planters. They also removed trash and debris around the park on the day of laying mulch.
In November, they started working with Lowe’s to gather the needed materials. “I made them calculate the amount of lumber it would take to build the planters,” Wagner said. “They didn’t like that too much, but they did a great job. It was really neat to see them working as a group to bring the project to the end product.”
After calculations were made, two employees of Lowe’s graciously cut the 40 boards into four pieces each — since it wasn’t too safe to let 5th grade girls use a power saw. The lumber was delivered to Wagner’s garage where the girls spent the winter constructing the wooden planters.
“They each operated and learned how to use the power drill and drill at an angle to put the boxes together,” Wagner said. Each planter is made with treated lumber and lined with plastic to ensure longevity. With the use of evergreens, they will look great year round and the planters are large enough to house them for year to come.
On Saturday, the girls in the troop, parents, friends and members of Kohl’s Care Program spread mulch, planted the evergreens and flowers in the planters, picked up trash and debris from the park. With working with the Kohl’s Care Program, they received a grant to cover the cost of the materials and supplies for their project, which ended up being approximately $500.
To finish the job, small metal plaques were secured to each planter stating that they were constructed by Troop 35378. The plaques were created by the hobby shop on base at WPAFB. “They really helped us out. We didn’t really know what we wanted and they helped with the type of metal we needed for being outside,” Wagner said.
The Troop’s work just added a special touch that was missing from the renovation to Shoup Park. Now, they can drive-by and visit and be proud of their participation in making it a great Beavercreek park.
Danielle Coots is a freelance writer for the Greene County News.