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Keeseville Girl Scouts start pathway to the future

KEESEVILLE All across the North Country, from Albany to the Canadian border, Girl Scouts celebrated the one- year anniversary of the merging of all Girl Scout councils in this area into one council, now known as Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York. The event, called Mission: Possible, was celebrated May 31 and June 1. Dressed in commemorative pink T-shirts with the words One weekend, One Council, Only the beginning, the Scouts celebrated by participating in community service projects. The words on the T-shirts were especially fitting for the Keeseville Girl Scouts, whose weekend community service of planting trees was only the beginning of a larger project they are calling Pathway to the Future. Over the next few years, the Keeseville troops will be working closely with the village of Keeseville and Flowering Meadows Nursery in Jay to create a park somewhere in Keeseville for the community to enjoy. The Scouts will each design a stepping stone to create a pathway through the park. Older Scouts will build a bench. Scouts will learn about different trees at the Flowering Meadows Nursery and purchase trees to plant in the park. A bridge will be built or purchased for the park so future girl Scout bridging up ceremonies can be held there. Today was the first phase of the project, explained Richard Welch, project coordinator and service unit leader. The group planted 10 red and silver maple trees and three pine trees. The saplings will be transplanted in the future, some in the park, and some in other areas. The girls learned about soil types, fertilizers, and how to plant and feed trees. This days activities focused on the lesson that it is important to give back to nature and served as a learning experience, so when the girls plant more expensive trees in the park, they will already have experience, said Welch. I planted a maple tree, 8-year-old Erin Butler said with a grin. I was the one who put the rocks around it and I got my hands dirty. Erin is already making plans for the stepping stone she will be designing for the park. I am going to put my handprint and my name at the top, she explained, and I will put the date at the bottom. All around the edges I am going to put sea glass. Welch expects the project to take three years to complete. It is a big project to coordinate with the village, the nursery, and 44 Girl Scouts and their parents, he commented. When it is all done, I hope the experience will show them how a small idea in the right hands can have a great purpose.

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