Girl Scout Troop No. 51437 of Woodbury has spent most of its summer vacation helping Stillwater’s Our Community Kitchen create a wheelchair accessible garden box that can be used by the various organizations participating in OCK.
The Woodbury group, which includes Rachel Drost, Haley Drost, Molly Kammann, and Kiley Robertson, did the work as part of their Girl Scout Silver Award project. The Silver Award calls for 50 hours of service work per person participating in the project.
“We wanted to do some sort of gardening project with Valley Friendship Club and we went from putting plants in pots to building a box,” said Rachel Drost.
The troop originally decided they wanted to do the project in Woodbury but ran into issues with the garden site they originally planned. They then joined with Valley Friendship Club and Our Community Kitchen to build their wheelchair-accessible garden box in the garden area near the Episcopal Church of the Acension.
“As we got further along in the project with Valley Friendship Club as our focus, we got really close to Our Community Kitchen,” Kammann said.
“It’s a great community resource,” said Julie Luna of Our Community Kitchen. “We wanted to have a wheelchair-accessible box because in the past we’ve had some people from the transitions program show up in wheelchairs and they couldn’t harvest the plants. It’s just great to have one now and it will be an asset to the transitional program which many members from the Valley Friendship Club are involved in. Connect WC, a group that works with families with children with disabilities will benefit as well.”
Plants in the troop’s garden include basil, lettuce, rosemary, peppers and tomatoes. They also planted daisies for use as decorations on the Our Community Kitchen tables.
A lot of hard work has gone into the process for Troop 51437. They’ve been working on the project since May.
Troop members have learned several skills along the way. They include making business calls, using power tools, planning and organizing donation drives and conducting themselves professionally throughout the process.
“Business calls were new for me,” said Haley Drost. “I’m not good at calling people in the first place, so it was pretty nerve-wracking.”
The business calls resulted in donations from a couple of companies that provided them with supplies. Mike Mueller from Forest Products Supply donated the wood for the box while Richard Iesinger from Composting Concepts provided them with the dirt.
“It took a minute for him (Iesinger) to figure out that we were asking for dirt. I’m sure that he doesn’t get a lot of requests for that,” said the teen’s project advisor, Denise Drost. “But he was super supportive of us after that.”
The Drosts’ father helped create the plans and then the teenagers helped with the installation.
“When we got here, we had to dig 18-inch holes in 100-degree weather. The parts took hours to get installed, and we ran into a lot of rocks, especially that post,” Robertson said pointing to one of the posts. “Their dad was picking out huge rocks for a good part of the time.”
The project has drawn some interest from the Stillwater community as well.
“Throughout this project it’s so cool that so many people have been keeping tabs on us. An older gentleman stopped by and asked if we could build another one at his senior center, but we didn’t get his name,” said Haley Drost.
“A couple of people stopped by and talked with us when we were filling it with dirt and were excited to see that we were so far. There’s been a lot of people checking our progress,” added Denise Drost.
Troop members are very happy that they’ve finished the project and they’re excited that what they’ve done can be used for years going forward as it will be maintained by Our Community Kitchen participants.
“They did just a wonderful job. We’re so thrilled and they’ve been great to work with,” Luna said.
Contact Avery Cropp at firstname.lastname@example.org