Every October Girl Scouts across Southeast Florida are asked to work together to protect the planet and become Earth Defenders! This council-wide community service project that takes place every October is intended to get girls to pick a cause they are passionate about so they can get out into their communities and make positive changes to the world around them.
How can I be an Earth Defender?
- Give a voice to endangered animals and wildlife conservation
- Create and/or maintain community gardens
- Focus on Land stewardship and local clean-ups
- Reduce plastic use
- Initiate or participate in a recycling program
- Start an activism campaign
- Research and remove invasive plants
- Work with local organizations and help with their mission
There are endless possibilities for girls to make change out in the world, but it’s simple – pick a project your passionate about, throw on some gloves, and get your hands dirty to protect the planet! Read more below about girls and troops who have participated as Earth Defenders this year.
Butterfly Garden – Troop 24608 from Boca Raton, FL
Girls from multi-level Troop 24608 worked with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission at an existing butterfly garden near the Everglades to learn about butterflies and native plants, and help maintain the garden. They planted ten new native plants (including planting, adding soil and mulch, and watering) and pulled weeds. The troop provided the plants for the garden, and each girl took a plant home to continue learning about creating native wildlife habitat in their own backyards. They saw caterpillars, butterflies, and had a great day outdoors!
Stuart Beach Clean Up – Troop 30688 from Stuart, FL
Girl Scouts from Troop 30688 decided to do a beach clean up this year for their project. They figured that with all the rain there would be a lot of garbage on the beach that needed to be picked up. This was a great bonding activity for the troop where the girls could practice their social distancing and enjoy spending some much needed time outside.
Eco-action at the Secret Woods Nature Center – Troop 10707 from Plantation, FL
Troop 10707 met with the director of Secret Woods who taught them about the history of the reserve and talked to them about invasive species and the garbage that ends up in the water throughout the park. The girls then divided into two groups. Each group went out to pick trash out of the waterways or to find and remove the invasive rosary pea plants specifically, and halfway through the day they swapped activities. It was very wet because of the recent rain, and toward the end of our endeavors they got a bit of a downpour. After the rain stopped they planted some native plants around the pond in the garden area.
I was proud of my girls for being dedicated to our mission, showing up, and participating without too much complaint!Laura Weiss, Troop Leader of Troop 10707
Community Cleanup – Troop 24120 from Loxahatchee, FL
Girl Scouts from Troop 24120 decided to make their community a little brighter by cleaning up all the trash surrounding their homes and animal habitats. This is a great way to make change where you live – not only making it more beautiful, but also protecting your local wildlife who could be harmed by trash and other debris.
Whispering Woods Neighborhood Park Clean-up – Troop 12370 from Coral Springs, FL
Troop 12370 contacted the Coral Springs Parks Department asking if they needed assistance with any park clean-ups and they recommended assistance with any neighborhood park in the city since they are not maintained as much as the larger parks. The girls were drawn to the Whispering Woods Park, which was created to be an outdoor classroom, and were excited about the opportunity to help clean-up a park in our very own community. On Saturday, October 24, 2020, the troop met at the park, prepped with garbage bags, gloves, rakes and extra family support. The group worked hard picking up a large amount of garbage, shrubbery, and other debris close to the wetland reserves, walking paths, landscaping, and perimeter of the park. This opportunity has now opened up some new possibilities for the girls as the Juniors begin planning their Bronze Award!