By Deven King
Girl Scouts of the USA was founded in 1912 and has since grown to over 1.7 million members, inspiring young girls to help their communities nationwide.
Girl Scout Brownie Troop 33133 is one such troop, and this summer, nine Girl Scouts earned their Take Action badge by helping to plant a butterfly garden. Troop members Aminah Acosta, Ava Burriss, Brooklyn Farinas, Skyler Lacaille, Violet Livingston, Jessica McGlynn, Olivia McGovern, Allison Ponder and Rei Rivera all worked together to bring the project to completion.
In July, the troop planted a butterfly garden in Pebble Conservation Park in Riverview after hearing about the park wanting to add butterfly plants.
“When we heard there was going to be a new park in our community, we reached out to the parks department to see if there was anything girls their age could do to help,” said troop leader Lisa McGlynn.
Along with some family members, the girls received help from two Hillsborough County Parks and Recreation staff members, Jennifer Geoff and Travis Parker. They taught the Girl Scouts about butterfly pollination and local butterflies. The girls planted known butterfly plants such as milkweed to attract the nectar seeking butterflies. Additionally, Travis Parker built the butterfly shaped outline for the garden using bricks from an old road in the area.
“It felt great to plant a garden for the butterflies that will be there for a very long time,” said Burriss.
With the completion of their butterfly project, the girls earned their Take Action badge, which is the final badge in the Brownie Outdoor Journey. The girls previously earned Outdoor Journey badges by making first aid kits, camping out at Camp Dorothy Thomas and going on a nature walk in Weedon Island. The goal of the Take Action badge is to give back to the community.
When asked how this project further inspired her to get involved in her community, Ponder said, “It’s inspired me to clean up my neighborhood so we can plant butterfly plants.”
Brownie Troop 33133 is located in Riverview with 12 members in third grade at various local elementary schools, many of whom have been in the troop since kindergarten. The girls enjoy coming together to help their community and learn new skills.
There is not a set date for when the park and butterfly garden will open to the public, but the troop is planning to return to see the garden’s progress.
To register for Girl Scouts or for more information, visit www.girlscouts.org.