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Girl Scouts Make Their Garden Grow at Littleton School

September 26, 2018

Kailey Hannon, Maeve Tule and Michael Gott install new fencing while Julie Kulchuk works in the background at the Shaker Lane garden. COURTESY PHOTO

A Sun Staff Report

LITTLETON -- Dirty hands, sore muscles and possibly even a few splinters were no match for four Skaker Lane students who recently teamed up with school administrators, community partners and others to complete work on an exterior garden as part of a Girl Scout project.

A celebration was held on Sept 14. to feature the work of sixth-grade students Kailey Hannon, Katie Kulchuk, Olivia Olson and Maeve Tule -- with the guidance of troop leader Julie Kulchuk.

“It was hard work but really fun,” Hannon said. “It makes me happy to know that all of the students at Shaker Lane will enjoy the new garden everyday when they go to school.”

The girls began planting the seeds of their project last fall, and started the hands-on restoration work in May.

Their effort to reinvigorate the garden served as the group’s Girl Scouts Bronze Award project. The Bronze Award is the highest award a junior level Girl Scout can receive, and can only be obtained through an extended commitment to community service. To earn the award, each girl must fulfill no fewer than 20 hours of service.

The girls combined to perform over 160 hours of service on their project.

“I’m so proud of the initiative that Kailey, Maeve, Olivia and Katie took to develop and execute this project,” Principal Michelle Kane said. “They were committed to doing a great job throughout the whole process, and their hard work will benefit our entire school community for years to come.”

To make the new garden a reality, the girls developed the concept for the project, secured funding and played a vital role in performing all of the landscaping and labor. In order to support their work, Hannon, Kulchuk, Olson and Tule conducted a pair of fundraisers -- a bake sale and a penny war between each grade level -- that raised a total of over $1,800.

“We are very thankful to everyone who donated,” Kulchuk said. “It really made an impact. We hope that the kids will enjoy the garden.”

The girls also secured donations from Littleton Lumber, and spent time with Littleton resident and professional carpenter Michael Gott, who taught the girls about power tools like saws, drills and sanders, and guided the girls through the construction of the garden’s brand new fence.

Upon completion, the girls unanimously agreed that working with the power tools was their favorite part of the project.

The garden itself features plants that native butterflies prefer, including milkweeds, asters, blueberries and butterfly weed. To coincide with rededicating the garden, the four Girl Scouts visited each second grade classroom at Shaker Lane and shared research they had done on butterflies.

Butterflies have already begun making themselves at home at Shaker Lane.

As they got closer to completion, they got to see the natural processes they’d learned about take place before their eyes.

“Because we were building the garden, we got to see the caterpillars change to chrysalis and then to butterflies,” Tule said. “It was really cool.”

The garden has been certified by MonarchWatch.org as an official Monarch Waystation, which provides the resources necessary for monarch butterflies to produce successive generations and sustain their migration.

Several local groups and organizations supported the girls efforts by donating supplies and services, including Aubuchon Hardware, MJ Cataldo Landscape and Constructions, the Gruber family, Littleton Earthworks, Littleton Lumber and Neufell Tree and Landscape.

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