By Noah Alatza
Westfield seventh-graders Claire Sandrick and Olivia Doan are on a mission to create a garden at the Westfield Washington Public Library, 333 W. Hoover St.
As the sole members of Girl Scout Troop 307, the girls are working toward a Silver Award, the highest award a Cadette Scout can earn. The honor is typically given to Scouts who complete a project in their community that has a lasting impact.
Doan said she hopes to the project will get the community to pay more attention to the environment and nature.
“We want this to be an educational purpose,” Doan said. “To show people that this is what you can do and not just us, that other people can do it, too, in their backyard.”
Approved by the Library’s Board of Directors in late 2017, the monarch waystation and garden will house flowers and other vegetation iwith the goal of improving the declining population of pollinators, such as monarch butterflies.
Situated on the southside of the library, the project will encompass 2,000 square feet for the waystation and a rain garden to collect runoff from the building’s downspouts. The addition of a mulched path and benches also are planned.
The Scouts have already raised nearly $2,500 of their $6,000 goal.
Doan said the library reached out to the Scouts after noticing a need to fill pace on the backside of the property.
“My dad came up with the plan because he is an engineer,” she said. “He was thinking in the back it’s shallow, so the rain garden would be the most suitable there.”
Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation has pledged a minimum $1,000 grant for the project. Its office, along with the City of Westfield’s Public Works Dept., must complete drainage work before planting can start.
Sandrick said planting and additional work should begin next month.
“We will have had our supplies and all donations by then, and most likely sign-up sheets for those who want to help us plant in the garden,” Sandrick said.
The waystation and garden project is expected to be completed by late spring.
The Scouts are looking for compost, mulch, sand, milkweed and water garden plants and additional tools, such as tillers and a sod cutter. To volunteer or donate items, email firstname.lastname@example.org.