Talin Bakalyan, Tara Hejazi-Hashemi and Megan McKiernan, three La Crescenta teen Girl Scouts from Troop 5511, qualified for their Silver Award for community service on July 28 when they built and installed the last of five above ground planters at the Rosemont Preserve. The planters will be used as an educational spotlight in the Preserve’s outdoor educational facility. The Rosemont Preserve is located at the top of Rosemont Avenue in La Crescenta.
The girls worked closely with Friends of the Rosemont Preserve for the last year and a half to help support the nonprofit’s goal to “develop programs and curricula that will ‘bring kids to the land.’”
Friends of the Rosemont Preserve had determined a need for a demonstration garden behind the wooden podium on which geologists and horticulturalists speak to groups of local elementary school students on subjects that apply directly to the scientific curriculum (developed at Mountain Avenue Elementary School). The demonstration garden provides these speakers an opportunity to show students specific plants prior to the students embarking on the guided nature trail. Friends of the Rosemont Preserve board member Barbara Nielsen explained that students sometimes get so distracted by fascinating butterflies and other insects that they lose focus on the plants. The goal of the demonstration garden is to capture students’ attention before it is lost to other curiosities present at the Rosemont Preserve.
While building the planters for the Rosemont Preserve demonstration garden, the girls, armed with power tools, smiles and enthusiasm, had a lot to say about what motivated them.
“I am here to help construct the plant beds, to give the learning center in the Rosemont Preserve a visual representation of the plants at the Rosemont Preserve, so that those who visit can really learn,” said Megan McKiernan.
Parent Greg Bakalyan lent a hand to help with the more dangerous work with pick axes and to show support for his daughter Talin.
“[I’m here] to leave something good behind, so that after we’re gone people can find joy here and remember what we left behind … just like our ancestors left something behind for us,” said Greg. “We have the responsibility and privilege and honor to do the same for posterity.”
Tara Hejazi-Hashemi added that she wanted to “leave an important mark for our society” so that local residents don’t forget the significance of local native plants.
Parent Caroline McKiernan was also happy to be part of the project.
“[I want to] support nature, to support our community, and to support the girls who I love so much,” said McKiernan. She added that she was grateful to Ganahl Lumber Company in Pasadena, which donated redwood and provided discounts to help the girls finance the project.
To celebrate the final days of the planning, construction and installation of the demonstration garden planters, the girls invited their parents to get their hands dirty and enjoy their accomplishment.
The next step in the development of the Rosemont Preserve demonstration garden will be to start populating the beds with plants native to the area, like white sage, black sage, and buckwheat, which will be grown from seeds collected by another Girl Scout troop for the Rosemont Preserve.
Contributed by Caroline McKIERNAN