Honor our founder. Honor Earth. Honor our powerful sisterhood.
Be part of something bigger than yourself.
In 2012, Girl Scouts celebrated its 100th anniversary. To mark this milestone and to honor founder Juliette Gordon Low, who loved nature and the outdoors, Girl Scouts of all ages, volunteers and alumnae are engaging in Girl Scouts Forever Green. This nationwide, take-action project offers a meaningful leadership experience that makes a huge positive impact on the environment and increases the visibility of Girl Scouts in every community.
Girl Scouts are at the forefront of environmental sustainability, leading their families, schools and communities in protecting natural resources.
Reduce Plastic Waste
GSNCA invites our 36-county area to Reduce Plastic Waste in a month-long project taking place in April 2012. We challenge each member of the community to download a water bottle tracking sticker (on standard labels) from and keep track during the month of April how many times you reuse your bottle, and then log in and report in how many water bottles you saved. Track the difference you made here.
The goal of the Rain Gardens Project is to increase green space and wildlife habitat, and improve water quality by reducing water-borne pollutants running into streams, rivers and other water supplies.
These gardens are designed to cut down on water pollution, erosion, flooding and diminishing groundwater, especially in urban areas. Rain Gardens should be planted at least 10 feet away from a house or building and away from the top of septic systems. These gardens are especially effective if on a gentle slope that catches downspout water, preferably in sunlight. Troops will have the chance to learn about soil types and plant sustainability in certain environments. Troops will also have the opportunity to participate in composting.
Composting is the process of taking recycled waste and piling it together, either outside or in composting compactors, in order to produce organic fertilizer and soil amendment. Compost is rich in nutrients and will act as both a great base for Rain Gardens and an excellent learning opportunity for the troops.
If your troop would like to plant and maintain a Rain Garden at camp, please notify the camp director of the specific camp where you are interested in working.
Tips for Planting Rain Gardens
- Test the soil. Soils vary greatly in fertility, drainage and pH rating. It is best if you understand what kind of soils you are working with, and put in a garden suitable to the conditions you already have.
- Test your drainage by digging a hole 8 inches wide and 8 inches deep. Pour a bucket of water into it and see how long it takes to sink in. The water needs to go down an inch per hour. If it takes longer than that, you will need to do additional site preparation to improve infiltration.
- Decide where you want the overflow to drain, and scoop out an overflow drainage way on that side of the Rain Garden.
- Prepare the site by adding peat moss, compost or sand, based on the type of plants and existing soil; be sure to adjust the depth to create a dip in the middle where the water will collect.
- Contact your local authority to mark utility lines prior to digging!
- The lowest area (wettest zone – usually a depth of 6 inches) will contain plants that tolerate a lot of water.
- Choose plants based on the soil type (sand, clay, etc.). Plants with deep fibrous roots have an advantage and provide the most cleaning and filtration benefits. Success is greater when you start with small, rather than larger, healthy plants. They adapt to the conditions as they grow.
- Visually inspect and repair for erosion as needed.
- Water as needed and weed regularly.
- Remove and replace dead and diseased vegetation.
- Make a sign for your Girl Scouts Forever Green Rain Garden, “Maintained by ___.”