By Sarah Medina, land use director, Seven Islands Land Co., and secretary, Board of Directors, Girl Scouts of Maine
FREEPORT – The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI Maine) and Project Learning Tree (PLT) booths were big hits at the Earth Day event Green ME Up! at L.L. Bean on April 21. The event, designed to encourage the public to learn more about sustainability and help them be stewards of the earth, was organized by Girl Scouts of Maine and open to the public.
Pat Sirois, SFI Maine coordinator, used the flume table to demonstrate proper road crossings and what landowners are doing to maintain “fish friendly” environments.
“The Girl Scouts already had a real understanding of sustainability,” Sirois said, “and some of them were exceptional in their ability to articulate the concepts.”
PLT volunteers facilitated multiple interactive workshops on “Every Tree for Itself” and “Water Wonders,” and helped more than 500 kids make tree cookie necklaces or medallions. SFI members created and donated the tree cookies.
In addition to the forestry sector (SFI, PLT, SAPPI and Irving,) exhibitors included Maine Audubon; Garbage to Gardens (composting); Natural Resources Council of Maine; Lee Auto (electric cars); Coke (recycling soda bottles); Paint Care; Sustainable Biofuels; Cooperative Extension; LLB Discovery School: the EVO climbing wall, and, of course, Girl Scouts (program, camp, Junior Maine Guides.) Entertainment included Earth Jams, Planet Pan and stage performances by the Ecology School. Poland Spring provided a hydration station and three unique food trucks were serving.
Both the SFI and PLT booths were two deep most of the day, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. We talked with Girl Scouts from as far south as Eliot and north from Madawaska. Several people just happened upon the event and engaged.
“It was a great way to launch these new relationships with the Girl Scouts of Maine and with SFI,” said Patricia Maloney, coordinator of Maine Project Learning Tree. “Our volunteers made the PLT and SFI exhibits a popular stop at the Green ME Up event.”
The event was so popular it ran over by 30 minutes. Everyone involved agreed, it was so successful, so we’ll hold it again next year. Be forewarned: Pat Sirois, Pat Maloney and Sarah Medina will be looking for additional exhibitors and volunteers to help present the forestry sector’s wonderful sustainability stories.
“When you are a Girl Scout, it’s easy to go green,” said Joanne Crepeau, CEO, Girl Scouts of Maine. “Our mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts sees the importance of ensuring the health of our planet, and we hope to inspire everyone to take action in their own lives to make Maine – and the world – a greener place.”
Girl Scouts of Maine builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. GSME provides services and support to over 12,000 girl and adult members statewide, and operates service centers and shops in South Portland and Bangor. For more information or to join Girl Scouts in Maine, visit www.girlscoutsofmaine.org or find Girl Scouts of Maine on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or call 888-922-4763.