Fayetteville-Manlius Girl Scout Troop 526 has made a difference in not one, but two middle schools: Eagle Hill and Cazenovia. The troop members — seventh graders Gillian Hall, Taylor Ketcham, Olivia Mulloy and Stephanie O’Malley — put plants in several classrooms as part of their Cadette Journey, “It’s Your Planet, Love It — Breathe.”
Both the Fayetteville-Manlius and Cazenovia school districts were involved as troop members are from Manlius and Cazenovia.
The Girl Scouts wanted to help enhance air quality in their schools as part of their commitment to serve and help others and to make the world a better place.
They pitched their project, called “Where the Green Things Grow,” to school staff, obtained permission from their school districts and principals, and determined interest among seventh-grade teachers. They then provided three plants and related supplies, along with an informational poster they helped design, to each participating classroom. Plants used were red-edged dracaena, spider plant and golden pothos.
One plant should be allowed for approximately 10 square yards of floor space with 8-9 foot ceilings, according to care2.com. The girls estimated the average classroom size to arrive at the need for three plants per room.
“Their efforts over the past few months have been educational and rewarding,” said troop leader Pam O’Malley. “They learned about how plants benefit air quality, how to care for them, and how to transplant them. They learned how to plan and carry out a project keeping sustainability in mind. It was a great opportunity for them to learn about the value of networking and working with their local communities to accomplish a goal.”
The Girl Scouts were given donations of plants and potting supplies, watering cans, posters and time by three local businesses: Cross Creek Nursery, FASTSIGNS and Manlius True Value.
The Girl Scouts thanked the local businesses as well as their schools for supporting their efforts and helping make this project fun.
“We learned so much and it was really fun caring for the plants,” one Girl Scout said, adding: “The plants look nice in our classrooms.”
Troop 526 is hoping that other troops and teachers will feel inspired by these efforts and adopt the project for their classrooms to help more people and the Earth breathe easier. Troops interested in learning more about this project and how to do it themselves can contact the troop through the Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways at 698-9400 or gsnypenn.org.