If you have not seen the new Science Discovery cart activities about forest ecology and invasive plant species in Atlanta, you need to check them out! If you already have, continue reading to learn more. I’m excited about these activities because I developed them as part of my Girl Scout Gold Award project. This award is equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Scout Award and is a great opportunity to positively impact the community. I enjoyed working with the education staff and F.U.N. volunteers on this project and we’re all very proud of the final result.
Drop by and visit the cart to check out the fun games and artifacts! It’s a great way to learn about the environment. Non-native invasive plants are dangerous to an ecosystem because they spread, outcompeting the unique native species in the region. If you’ve ever driven anywhere in Atlanta, our landscape is covered with fields of kudzu, English ivy, and other non-native plants. While these plants are everywhere, they can be easily overlooked and so can their impact.
Invasive plants are a big problem and hit forests particularly hard. We can all help preserve native landscapes by removing invasive plants from our own yards to prevent their seeds from spreading. While it is important to remove invasive plants, it is just as important to avoid using pesticides when doing so. Chemicals are sometimes necessary to complete the task, but they should be used responsibly. If you want more information about invasive plants, check out my previous post, A Nature Invasion.
The cart activities include great games and artifacts that give visitors a fun opportunity to learn. I’ve seen kids and adults alike have their ‘a-ha’ moments, illustrating this cart has ‘planted a seed.’
You too can plant a seed. If you know a girl scout, encourage her to stay in the program and go for the Gold! Not only will you have a reliable source of Girl Scout cookies, you will help this girl make an impact on her community. I am incredibly thankful to have had such an opportunity. The environment is my passion and I am so proud to have made a small contribution toward its protection.
But you don’t need a Gold Award to change your community. We are all capable of making the world a better place. I hope you’ve been inspired to join the battle against invasive plants and look forward to seeing you at the Science Discovery cart!
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi
—Meg Withers, Environmental Education Intern