By Kate Quesada

The trails of FishHawk Ranch are cleaner this month thanks to 16 local Girl Scout troops.

On Saturday, February 20, troops from the Fossil Valley Service Unit of Girls Scouts held their annual Walk the Trails event and collected 1,085 pounds of trash. During the event, each individual troop walks around the area picking up trash and then brings their collection to Ibis Park in FishHawk Ranch where the trash is weighed and the girls celebrate.

“One of the lines in our Girl Scout Law states that scouts should make the world a better place and this is just one of the ways our community works together to show this,” said leader Deb Dille.

According to Silver Award Advisor Carole Bradbourne, the event was started several years ago when a junior troop working on a Bronze Award project came up with the idea. This year the girls ranged from kindergarten to high school students.

“Our troop cleaned up the trails to protect the animals and so it is clean for people who walk on it,” said FishHawk resident and girl scout Anna Johnston. “We feel really proud for helping to keep FishHawk clean.”

In addition to the trail clean-up, during the event this year three Girl Scouts organized a Pond Clean Up as part of their Silver Award Project. They invited local Cub Scout packs, Boy Scout Troops and other service organizations to come out and help clean the ponds of FishHawk. The five non-Girl Scout groups picked up 245 pounds of trash during the event.

For more information on Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, or to find a troop to join, call 281-GIRL or visit

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Kate Quesada is the Multimedia Manager for the Osprey Observer Newspapers. She has been working for the paper in various positions since 2005 when she graduated with her Masters degree in mass communications. She lives in Valrico with her husband Mike and son Dylan.