Girl Scouts improve Keuka Outlet Trail

Staff reports
The Chronicle-Express
Part of Girl Scout Troop 40629 project was educating Outlet Trail hikers about invasive species.

The Cadettes of Girl Scout Troop 40629 have been working on two Silver Award projects to benefit the Keuka Lake Outlet Trail. One project, called “Give Invasives the Boot,” involved the girls building and installing three boot brush stations along the Trail.

Boot brushes are used to remove organisms that may be in the soil trapped in the soles of boots before they are used on another trail. The concept is similar to the “Clean, Drain, Dry” watercraft initiative to prevent aquatic invasives from being transported to other bodies of water. Each of the three stations include unique placards that feature information about four different invasive species in our area such as Japanese Knotweed, which outcompetes native plants along waterways and Wild Parsnip which is phytotoxic like Giant Hogweed. The girls involved in this project are Kelly Ingerick, Annika Reinard and Amanda Smith.

Cadettes of Girl Scout Troop 40629 working on their Keuka Lake Outlet Trail projects for their Silver Award.

The other project called “You’re on Doggie Duty” was inspired by a Girl Scout trip to Onondaga Lake on which the girls saw dog waste bag dispensers and felt that we needed them here. The impact of animal waste on our ecosystem and our health can be serious. Several species of bacteria and parasites, some of which are pathogenic, can stay in the ground and also enter waterways via runoff when it rains or snow melts. The girls had a spaghetti dinner at the Moose Club to raise funds to purchase four dispensers and a supply of bags to get the Friends of the Outlet started. Three of the dispensers were installed on the boot brush stations and the fourth was mounted on a post and installed at a different location on the Trail.

The Outlet Trail is carry-in, carry-out and these bags can be used for dog owners when they run out of their own bags. Please continue to take your trash out with you - thank you! This project was done by Erin Clancy, Cadence Miller, Leah Prather and Charlotte Saner.

The Girl Scout Silver Award requires a minimum of 50 hours of work on an approved project that will benefit communities in the long-term and be sustainable. The girls have approached local government agencies about how they can add more of these helpful stations to educate the public and help with environmental efforts. All seven girls helped each other on both projects and are 8th graders at Penn Yan Middle School. Mrs. Jennifer Clancy and Mrs. Tracey Ingerick are the co-leaders of Troop 40629. For more information on Scouting in Yates County, please contact Jenn at 315-694-0918 or mrsclancy411@gmail.com.