My name is Kendall DeTora, and I have been a Girl Scout since I was in First Grade. I have earned the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the Girl Scout Silver Award, and now I have my sights set on earning the Girl Scout Gold Award. My plan for earning the Gold Award is a project called the “Gold Garden Project.”
I am a member of Green Hill Presbyterian Church in Enterprise, Alabama. My church used to have a beautiful landscaped front lawn. Unfortunately, last year a teenager who was drag-racing down the street in front of the church lost control of his car, flipped it several times, and landed upside down on the church property. He was lucky to have survived. Not only did he total his car, and a utility pole, but he also took out all of the trees and bushes for more than 100 feet. The church has since covered most of the area with grass, but we have been left with a giant ugly rocky circle right in the middle of the property (see photo above). I see this problem as an opportunity. As part of my Gold Award Project, I want to turn this ugly spot into a pollinator garden. Pollinator gardens are gardens that have the types of flowers that provide nectar and pollen for insects. In addition to being beautiful, they also help support local bee and butterfly populations.
This garden will be the centerpiece of a much larger education program and lesson plan I am developing that can be used by teachers for their classes and leaders for their scout troops.
It has been determined that three quarters of the flowering plants in the world and more than one third of the food crops in the world, need animal pollinators to reproduce. A number of studies have been done that show just how important animal pollinators are to the food chain. It has been estimated that one out of every three bites of food we eat depend on animal pollinators. Unfortunately, pollinators are in trouble all over the world. Bees, butterflies, and even bats are disappearing and dying. Every year more natural habitat is lost and these pollinators have to struggle to face their changing environments. Every time a new building goes up or a new parking lot is paved, these animals have to figure out how to survive, and food production depends on their survival. Something as simple as planting a pollinator garden, even a small one, can have a major impact on a local ecosystem. The more people who are encouraged to plant their own pollinator gardens the more impact there will be on the world food supply.
It is my hope that my “Gold Garden Project” will teach people how important pollinators are and will encourage people to keep planting pollinator gardens for many years to come.