Girl Scout Troop 56443 received their Silver Award for their work in establishing four pollinator bee gardens in River Falls. Keeley Baker-Richert, Genevieve Kerr and Savannah Blair received the award last May at Gustavus Adolphus College.
To celebrate their achievement, the Scouts held a Bee Garden Education Day on Sunday 25th September. The event featured bee-themed crafts, games, story time and tours of the gardens.
Blair said the project started in May 2021. Each year, the Girl Scouts cookie program has a theme that led the girls to their project idea.
“The theme that year was bees. There were bee-themed incentives and donation opportunities, so we thought we could design a project around bees,” Blair explained.
The scouts worked together to design a project that would help increase the bee population. The result was the creation of a pollinator bee garden near DeSantis Park. The garden was entirely funded by donations.
For the troupe to win the Silver Award, they must identify a community problem and find a lasting solution. Each Scout must work 50 hours on the project. Blair said much of the time was spent in the garden to save hours. Each Girl Scout had different roles such as designing the garden, obtaining plant donations, recruiting volunteers and creating educational content.
The hard work paid off.
Blair noticed that more bees would be present as the weeks passed. She said the highest number of bees she had seen during one watering session was 15.
“It’s great to know that bees are using gardens,” Blair said.
Blair and Kerr are sophomores at River Falls High School. Baker-Richert is a freshman at Stillwater High School. Blair said the three girls plan to continue their involvement in Boy Scouts in high school.
Future plans for the Girl Scouts go for the Gold Award. To receive this award, all girls must work on individual projects requiring at least 80 hours. Blair is ready.
“This project has been a lot of work and I know the Gold Prize will be a lot of work as well,” she said. “There’s a lot of planning, but I’m ready.”