A Highland teen is attempting to achieve the highest honor for a Girl Scout Cadette by keeping the well-being of butterflies in mind.
In pursuit of her Silver Award, Julia Beil, 13, of Highland Girl Scout Troop 936, decided to make a garden to attract Monarch butterflies to Silver Lake Park.
“Hopefully, butterflies can come and get what they need to and maybe hang out for a while and then leave,” Beil said.
Beil was one of the presenters at Highland’s annual Spring Bloom Festival on April 22, where she lead curious visitors to her project while explaining the process of building a butterfly garden.
To receive the Silver Award, Beil is required to create something sustainable that would help improve the community.
Beil said that she was inspired to create a butterfly garden by Master Gardener Margaret Weis. Beil worked closely with Weiss to transform the small plot of land. The process took about four months. During that time, Weis helped Beil select flowers that Monarch butterflies are said to prefer.
“She learned about various plants and how they benefit not only the butterflies, but other pollinators and people, too,” Weis said.
The flowers selected are also perennials, meaning they should grow again each year, which helps to make the garden sustainable. Another criteria for her flower choices was appearance. Beil chose brightly colored flowers and a woody bush as a base to decorate the garden. Her personal favorite flowers are the lantanas and the Shasta daisies.
Beil and Weis also designed the plot of land so that anyone walking around the garden can see it from a different perspective at each angle.
“If you walk around it in different areas, you can see different perspectives of it,” Beil said.
Beil said she paid for the project by fundraising through her troop with events such as garage sales, bakes sales and everyone’s favorite, Girl Scout Cookie sales. According to Beil’s mother, Melissa, the project made her more self-sufficient, even though she already was.
“It made her more independent,” Melissa Beil said. “I tried not to be a pushy mom, and she did a good job. She really stepped up to the plate.”
While Beil has been approved for her award, she still has to finish her final report. Beil probably will not receive her Silver Award until spring 2018, her butterfly garden is here to stay. All in all, Weis said that the garden is a project that Beil should be proud of.
“This garden shows her courage, confidence and character,” Weis said. “It is her gift to the community. She deserves to be proud of her Girl Scout Silver project as it has fulfilled the Girl Scout promise to make the world a better place.”