Girl Scout Cadettes Ayla Eyikan and Teagan Weber, Troop 30223, 8th grade students at Roger Ludlowe Middle School, are helping dog walkers to keep the trail in the Pine Creek Open Space free of pet waste. To do so, they have installed a Pet Waste Station, which has a sign encouraging people to clean up after their dog, and has a waste bag dispenser to help them do so. It is located at the entrance to the Open Space in the Sullivan Field/Kiwanis Field parking lot on Old Dam Road. The post, holding the sign and dispenser, is placed strategically next to a large trash can to add to the ease of proper disposal.
The girls came up with the idea, presented it to the town’s Conservation Department for approval, selected the location, researched and obtained all supplies, dug the whole and poured the concrete and assembled the Pet Waste Station.
Timothy Bishop, Director of Fairfield’s Conversation Department and Edward Jones, Open Space Manager, were instrumental in assisting the girls with the project. Mr. Bishop and Mr. Jones agreed that the town will monitor the amount of bags in the waste station on a weekly basis when collecting the trash in the nearby can, and will refill the station with bags as needed. In addition to planning and installing the waste station, the girls provided 2,400 bags.
When asked why the girls decided on this project, Teagan offered “We have a dog, and we like to walk here with her, but we often have to be careful not to step in anything. We wanted to make it easy for people to clean up after their dog by providing bags, in case people run out or forgot to bring them.” This project ties in with the Outdoor Journey, which the girls just completed. The Outdoor Journey taught them all about the outdoors, the night sky, outdoor first aid and survival skills, primitive camping, appreciating and respecting nature, and much more.
Completing a Girl Scout Journey, a multi-badge endeavor, is a prerequisite to earning the Silver Award, the Girl Scout’s second highest award which must be completed during middle school. Ayla and Teagan chose to complete the Outdoor Journey, learning all about and acquiring skills related to the outdoors. Their Take-Action project, which is the final step in any Girl Scout Journey, helps to keep the trail free of dog waste so that all can enjoy the nature trail.
The Girl Scout’s mission is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. They are the preeminent leadership development organization for girls.