Girl Scouts power the future—and eight Girl Scouts from Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana (GCNWI) are doing just that! Our Becker Eco-Advocacy Grant honorees are Girl Scouts currently working on a service or highest award project exclusively dedicated to serving and preserving the environment and are great examples of what it means to really go green for good.
The Philip J. Becker Eco-Advocacy Endowment Fund honors the memory of Philip J. Becker, a life-long educator who was devoted to inspiring young people to embrace careers in the sciences, especially physics, energy, and astronomy. He felt a deep calling to help his children, grandchildren, and all young people understand the urgency of transitioning to innovative, renewable, and sustainable energy sources. His family, with strong Girl Scout ties, honors his memory and his passion for the environment by funding these grants to inspire girls to take action to make the world a better place.
Meet these girls and read about their efforts toward making the world a better, healthier, and safer place to thrive for us and all creatures!
Sarah, Girl Scout Ambassador, has a long history of community service, completing both her Bronze and Silver Awards during her time as a Girl Scout. Now completing her Gold Award, Sarah was awarded a grant for her continued work in supporting local pollinator populations, and her plans include installing a pollinator garden at her high school.
Her garden bed will include native Illinois plants and flowers to help pollinators increase in number by providing them food and proper resources for continued survival. “There are so many ways that the environment is being degraded,” Sarah shared, “and I feel that by taking this step, I can inspire change in my community, nationally, and globally.”
“I hope to help the community understand why pollinators are so important and inspire others to create their own pollinator gardens. I want to make people aware of exactly how important it is to have an environment that is healthy and sustainable, both now and for future generations.”
Spreading Your Wings
“If we do not take care of the earth, we will all lose,” Girl Scout Cadette Katherine shared. “We need to do all we can to preserve and repair the earth so we can leave it better than when we came. That is the Girl Scout Way.”
To accomplish this, Katherine, together with her troop, is designing, building, and planting a butterfly garden for St. John’s Church and School. This will help increase the butterfly population, improve air quality in the area, and beautify a public space. “Our impact on the environment will be strong by providing a space in the urban landscape for nature to thrive and grow.”
“We all must do a better job of caring for the earth,” Katherine asserted. “If everyone just does a little to make the earth a better place, then perhaps we can slow or reverse global warming,”
Girl Scout Ambassador Priyanka has always loved the outdoors since camping as a young Girl Scout. She believes “knowing more about animals and nature, the things that surround us all, is the only way for the world to thrive.”
In partnership with the Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center, Priyanka is earning her Gold Award by installing bee houses at the Center, and the construction has already begun. She’s responsible for designing and creating these bee houses, as well as creating an educational component for visitors.
“I think that allowing more and more people to learn about the environment, like the pollinators that help grow our food and the plans around us, will ultimately benefit both people and nature,” Priyanka stated. “People may start to make wiser, healthier decisions when it comes to taking care of the environment once they understand the importance of things normally overlooked.”
Our Nocturnal Allies
“I feel strongly that we should do everything we can to help the environment, including protecting animals and preserving their habitats in a way that allows people and animals to live in harmony.” Girl Scout Cadette Meredith is taking on her challenge, and to earn her Silver Award, is constructing bat houses for GCNWI campsites.
“I am making these bat houses so bats don’t try to make their homes in the cabins,” Meredith explained. “With the houses, the bats can make their homes safely away from predators and can play their important role in the ecosystem.”
“I hope to help people enjoy and appreciate being able to share an environment with bats, and I hope to help the bats to be safe and respected by the community.”
Trees for the People
Girl Scout Cadettes Summer, Lindsay, and Celia each have a passion for environmental advocacy, and this passion lead the three to earn their Bronze Award planting trees in parks in and around their area. “Through our research,” Summer explained, “we learned that our area lost two hundred thousand trees a few years ago due to an invasive bug.”
To combat this issue, the girls found a program in their community that will match every tree they plant, and they hope to create more oxygen in the environment, provide more habitats for insects and animals, and reduce home cooling and heating costs.
Lindsay is driven to help the environment “because I feel like I need to do something. I want to do whatever I can to help!” Celia says “it is our duty to help save our planet and reduce our carbon footprint. I believe that if enough people focus on this issue, we can obliterate global warming,”
Take it Outside
Congratulations to these trailblazing Girl Scouts for earning this fantastic grant! We wish you all luck in completing your goals and making the world a greener place.
Share Your Story!
We want to hear all about your eco-advocacy projects, initiatives, and ideas! Share your story with us today for a chance to be featured on our blog and social media.