Oct. 19—HUNTSVILLE — On the heels of a new tree protection ordinance to fight back against growing cases of clear-cutting deforestation in the area, the Girl Scouts are doing their own part to keep Huntsville green.
Huntsville is booming, with rapid development underway and more in store for the future. However, as more developers jump on Huntsville's frontier, concerns have been on the rise for ensuring that the Piney Woods isn't lost in the face of development.
Partnered with the Texas A&M Forest Services, Troop 103111 spent the weekend planting 120 Shumard and willow oak trees that were donated by nurseries in the area. TAMFS worked with the city of Huntsville to determine that 80 trees would be planted at Kate Barr Ross Park, forming a barrier between the Wynne Unit and the park's soccer field, while 20 would be planted in a separate city-designated area.
"What was kind of great about it was as we were planting, the soccer game started and we had one little boy and his parents come up to us wanting to plant a tree, so it was kind of cool that the community got involved," Girl Scout community leader Jamie Arlt said.
The remaining 20 trees have been divvied up among the girls to plant at their homes, where they can watch their trees grow with them through the years.
The tree planting was part of a Take Action Project for the troop to wrap up their Breathe Journey, demonstrating what they've learned through community service. With a passion for sustainability and environmental preservation, the girls also chose the project in order to contribute towards the Girl Scouts USA Tree Promise, which pledges to plant five million trees by the year 2026, to benefit wildlife and ease the effects of climate change.
"I thought it was great that the girls wanted to do this," Arlt said. "Part of the journey that we were earning, Breathe, was about the air particles that float all in our community, what the importance of trees are and what the importance of clean air and water are, and I think it was a great way for them to finish out that journey project."
Arlt's troop will continue to work towards the Tree Promise goal and will be planting trees again in the spring, on the tail end of cookie sale season, as a thanks for the community's generous support and in pursuit of a better, greener world. In preparation for the event, Troop 103111 is in search of anyone interested in having the Girl Scouts come out on April 2 to plant donated trees.
Those wanting to have a tree planted by the troop, or those simply interested in joining Girl Scouts, can contact a council member at email@example.com.