Thursday, March 31, 2022

 

 Troop 1791 Native Garden

Girl Scout Troop 1791 and its community partners planted over 30 native species from January to March 2022, as well as a bio-diverse native species deep soil seed mix. We partnered with The St. Charles County Parks to ensure the long-term maintenance of the garden will continue. We have also earned our Gardening Badge and have logged over twenty individual hours on our project of improving gardening education and native garden awareness. The project’s efforts resulted in our troop receiving the Bronze Award from the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri: the highest possible award as Junior Girl Scouts. Our “girl-powered” team of eight 5th grade Junior Scouts and volunteers have created a native plant garden that will be long-lasting and provide educational opportunities for the greater community. 

Why did we do this?

Our troop chose to complete the Girl Scout Bronze Award, the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can get. Read more about the Bronze Award here.

Why did we choose a native garden?

We brainstormed a list of projects that could help our community, and landed on a native garden. We wanted to help the declining pollinators, get cleaner air, and create beauty for our community.

How did we do this? 

With the help of St. Charles County Parks, and resources within our troop, we created a space we hope will grow into a beautiful and beneficial space for creatures and peoples alike.  After designing our garden, with a grant from the Missouri Prairie Foundation, and seed and plants from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, we went to work. Read more about how to create a native garden here.

Our Story



In fall of 2021, the St. Charles County Parks Horticulturist and maintenance team marked out our garden border. Our design is a semi-circle about 70 feet in diameter, with a radius of about 35 feet, resulting in around 2,000 square feet of garden. Due to the timing of the Bronze Award project, we needed to kill the grass using herbicide. Other ways to kill the area are laying down black plastic, newspaper or cardboard while vegetation is actively growing.


According to Missouri Wildflowers, "If there is a layer of thatch (dead vegetation) covering 100% of the soil, it will prevent seeds from making good soil contact.  The area should be burned or mowed & raked to remove the thatch, or dragged with a harrow or a piece of chain-link fence just before seeding to loosen and fluff up the thatch.  This step is not necessary if the thatch covers 80% of the soil or less." Using our resources, we tilled and raked to prepare the soil for seeding.




In January 2022, using the deep soil mix for clay soil from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery, we seeded our dirt area. Then we laid landscape fabric for our path.


We covered the triangle, more formal sections of our semi-circle garden with landscape fabric, and then cut out spaces to plant our live plants. In February 2022, we planted our live plants. Once they were in the ground, we covered the fabric with mulch. We flagged our plants to keep an eye on growth for the first year. 






We added a few fun things in our garden, besides plants! Check out our plant tags! Each species of plant has a tag containing the common name, scientific name, and a QR code you can scan to learn about that plant.

We also added bee cups throughout our more formal sections,. These will collect rain water so the bees can easily get a drink. After all, we love our pollinators!

Another great thing we added are some butterfly and bee houses. We attached these to posts in the mixed wildflower area of our garden. These houses will provide shelter and nesting places for the bees and butterflies that we are hoping to attract to our garden.

Keep watching our garden! There will be a lot of changes and growth coming. 
The first year the plants sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap!

This is what we hope the formal part of our garden will look like once it's growing strong.






              

 





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    Troop 1791 Native Garden Girl Scout Troop 1791 and its community partners planted over 30 native species from January to March 2022, as ...