Girl Scout Troop donates trees to community
Girl Scout Troop 4730 loves to serve their hometown of Portland. Back in January the troop started working on a Girl Scout Journey project called Breathe. The group did experiments, research and read about careers to better understand the importance of air quality. Then they brainstormed ideas to do something that would both benefit air quality and improve their community. They settled on fundraising to purchase two large trees to donate to the city. They also planned an Earth Day event to invite all Ionia County Girl Scouts to educate about caring for our planet. However, like so many plans in 2020, all of the fundraising events were cancelled and the Earth Day event also could not happen. The troop was determined to complete their goal. Throughout the summer the girls collected refundable cans and bottles from family, friends and neighbors. “We gathered bags from porches. We received donations from companies. All of our garages were full of bags. Then when we could, we put on masks and gloves and stood in lines to refund them,” said assistant troop leader, Jill Watson. “The delays actually worked in our favor, the girls had a longer amount of time to fundraise and ended up exceeding their goal raising enough to donate three trees,” added troop leader, Erica Sheehan. Two white spruce and one Norway spruce trees were purchased from Goose Creek Tree Farm and donated to the City of Portland. They will be planted along the River Trail visible from Water Street. “Donating trees was important to our troop because it helps the environment. I think the trees will encourage people in our city to help our environment,” said troop member Charlotte Sheehan. “The trees also help the birds have new places to have nests, squirrels to have places to climb and we have a place to stop and get shade when walking,” added troop member Jorja McFarland. “We want to help the community. It impacts the community because trees help with air and noise pollution,” said troop member Rylan Johns. Troop 4730 will be decorating one of the trees for the Red Mill’s Christmas Tree Lane. The other two trees will be decorated by Cub Scout Pack 258 and Boy Scout Troop 129. Girl Scout Troop 4730 are Cadette level Scouts and 6th through 8th grade students at Portland Middle School.