By Pat Maloney, Maine Project Learning Tree Coordinator
The Girl Scouts of Maine’s Earth Day celebration, Green ME Up at L.L. Bean in Freeport, is a fun day for both the Maine Project Learning Tree (PLT) volunteers and for Pat Sirois, coordinator of the Maine SFI Implementation Committee.
“My impression of the Girl Scouts is that they were a very engaging and interested group,” Sirois said. “Despite the sometimes heavy wind and rains, they stood there eager to learn that it’s OK to harvest a tree and that bigger is better when it comes to stream crossings.”
The Girl Scouts extended an invitation to PLT and SFI again this year, thanks to forester Sarah Medina, who has served on the Girl Scouts board, as well as the Maine TREE Foundation Board and Maine PLT Steering Committee. The April 20 event attracted more than 1,200 Girl Scouts to a wide variety of booths and demonstrations from Maine businesses and non-profits involved with recreation and alternative forms of energy.
Despite the wet and windy weather, the PLT “tree cookie” table attracted well over 600 girls and their families. Everyone enjoyed choosing their very own tree cookie and designing creative name tags. Thanks to our volunteers, the girls learned how to read a tree cookie and some learned how to ID trees.
PLT thanks forester Mike Dann for cutting hundreds of tree cookies from his Dixmont woods and our tree cookie volunteers for their enthusiasm and dedication to working with our Maine youth.
Fortunately for all, the SFI flume table and PLT were, once again, side by side. Throughout the day, people streamed through to learn about water and natural stream functions. Who doesn’t like to play with water? Well, you are welcome to do so while learning about forest management, stream flow and best management practices for water quality.
Sirois, Medina and Henry Whittemore, executive director of the Maine TREE Foundation, demonstrated hands-on ways to protect the streams that run through our forests to everyone from young Girl Scouts to their grandparents.
The Girl Scouts of Maine event is one that we hope to join in the coming years and we do appreciate being part of the Earth Day Celebration.