What did you do for your Gold Award project?
For my Gold Award Project, I addressed the need for low water landscaping through adding an educational aspect to the Community Heroes Crevice Garden at the Apex Simms Street Center. In addition to fundraising for and purchasing a bench, I also designed and purchased an educational sign and a website domain (www.communityheroesgarden.com). The website provides information on my Gold Award project, crevice gardening, and information specific to the Community Heroes Crevice Garden.
How did you measure the impact your Gold Award project made on your target audience?
I measured the impact of my Gold Award project through a brief survey accessible from the website, as well as a website hit counter on the homepage of the website. All of the responses from the survey showed an increase in knowledge about crevice gardens, and most people surveyed responded that they would be more likely to create a crevice garden in place of a traditional garden in the future. In the time the website has been public (since September 30), there have been 690 views on it (as of February 10, 2016).
How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?
After my involvement, my project will be sustained by the Apex Parks and Recreation Department and Rocky Mountain Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society, which has over 300 registered members. Both of these organizations have committed to keep up the garden, with Apex doing general ground maintenance, and RMC-NARGS continuing to plant and maintain the plant garden and website as a whole. The Community Heroes Crevice Garden has also received permission to use Jefferson County Open Space funding.
What is your project’s global and/or national connection?
I created a public website that is visible to anyone, and can be accessed anywhere. The website is www.communityheroesgarden.com. I have also contacted the department heads at Parks and Recreation departments in the area, and shared my project and the website with them, so that they, if they choose, can implement the idea and further share it in their communities. I shared my website and project with family members who live in other states, and they have shared the website further. I have received survey responses from Colorado, New Mexico, California, Florida, and even Victoria, Canada. I presented my project to the Apex board on December 10 and was the first Girl Scout who had done so. The North American Rock Garden Society has also included the Community Heroes Crevice Garden in a national brochure that they published. I have also written a blog post, “Unknown Crevice Gardens”, to further share my project. In addition, The Colorado Water Conservation Board listed the Community Heroes Crevice Garden as a xeriscape demonstration garden on their website, along with a link.
What did you learn about yourself?
Throughout my project, I learned that I need a time plan to keep myself accountable and make progress on a long term project. I learned how to communicate with multiple organizations and companies, and how to coordinate an event. Also, I learned that I can be a good leader.
How will earning your Gold Award impact you in the future?
Earning my Gold Award will provide me with essential communication and collaboration skills, as well as the ability to successfully budget. Also, completing the award gave me the confidence to know that I can accomplish anything.
Why do you feel the Gold Award was an important part of your Girl Scout experience?
The Gold Award was a huge part of my Girl Scout experience; it took many of the skills and abilities I have learned from 10 years of Girl Scouts, and allowed me to apply the knowledge to create an amazing addition to the community garden. It was a great cumulative experience, and I will continue to hold the memories of my project as some of the best in my Girl Scouting career.
**IMPORTANT NOTE: This blog represents only a small fraction of the hard work, dedication and requirements that go into earning a Girl Scout Gold Award. It is simply a brief summary, which is meant to inspire Girl Scouts to Go Gold in the future. For more information on earning your Gold Award, please email firstname.lastname@example.org