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Girl Scout troop earns watershed badge

Posted: July 19, 2017

by Stacia Naoum

 

Nordonia Hills Girl Scout Troop 90724 recently earned its watershed badge, an accomplishment that demonstrates  knowledge of water quality by seeking out educational and community involvement opportunities.

 

The troop is made up of 15 junior Girl Scouts in fourth grade, said Dawn Sedor of Sagamore Hills, one of three leaders of the troop, whose daughter is a Scout. The troop voted on completing the Wonders of Water journey as Brownies in third grade, which culminated in earning their watershed badge.

 

As long as it fits in with the three leadership keys of the Girl Scouts program – discover, connect, and take action – there are many ways to apply your journey, said Sedor. The Summit Soil and Water Conservation District already offered a badge for Girl Scouts, so it was easy to use their connections to work the needed steps, she said. 

 

“Our community involvement education program is tailored to helping Girl Scouts earn their watershed badge,” said Sandy Barbic, education specialist at the Summit Soil and Water Conservation District. “We began by visiting their school with our portable Enviroscape to teach them about watersheds, which is an area of land that drains to a particular water body.”

 

Added Sedor, “Their biggest takeaway was making the connection that a watershed is land, not a body of water, and how what we put on this land is directly connected to the water we drink.” 

 

They learned that pesticides or animal waste sits on the watershed, and then rain can flush it to the water source, contaminating it, she said.

 

“We also connected the troop with the community,” said Barbic. The Scouts participated in a river cleanup in Cuyahoga Falls and took a tour of the Twinsburg Water Treatment Facility.

 

“We saw the whole process end to end, from the intake of sewage, through the stages of cleaning, and then how it goes back into Tinker’s Creek,” said Sedor. “I was amazed at how quick the process is and how clean it was at the end.”

 

The water treatment plant tour was one of their favorite activities of the year, said Sedor. “It smelled terrible, but they had a blast.’’

 

Lastly, the troop took action to meet the Girl Scout goal of making the world a better place, said Sedor. They created a display at the Nordonia Hills Branch Library in celebration of World Water Day on March 22, which covered local watersheds, including Tinker’s Creek, as well as presented information on how to conserve water. 

 

“I was very impressed with the girls and how environmentally conscious they are at their age,” said Barbic. “It is uplifting to think that they are our future generation who will take care of the environment.”

 

Visit sswcd.summitoh.net for more information about soil and water conservation in the community or gsneo.org for more information on joining Girl Scouts. 

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