BLOG: South River Federation Girl Scout Cleanup with Pictures
By Jennifer Carr, South River Federation
On a beautiful fall day, 75 Girl Scouts and their family members teamed up with the South River Federation and Watershed Stewards Academy (WSA) to give back to Camp Woodlands. The Girl Scouts worked hard in shifts over a four hour period to reduce erosion by spreading mulch and woodchips. They mulched commonly used areas around some of the main buildings, along trails, and even helped to lay cobble in an area more heavily impacted by erosion.
To say that the Scouts did a fantastic job is an understatement. We were beyond thrilled with how much the girls accomplished! Although we are impressed with their hard work, the best part of the day was seeing how much fun everyone was having outside. The girls worked very well together and even came up with an assembly line to fill and pass buckets of mulch. Thanks to their hard work, Camp Woodlands looks even more beautiful.
A 32 acre wooded waterfront site along the South River, Camp Woodlands is owned by the Girl Scout Council of Central Maryland and used as an early childhood outdoor education center for Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Because this site is so special to many different groups, we thought this would be the perfect location for a WSA Capstone Project which combines community outreach with restoration.
Like many areas in the watershed, Camp Woodlands has a series of erosion problems. When it rains, stormwater carries loose soil and pollutants into Broad Creek and the South River. As the stormwater moves, it creates a series of erosion channels ranging in length from a few feet up to a quarter of a mile. For the smaller areas impacted by erosion, spreading woodchips and mulch helps reduce the impact of stormwater by slowing it down. Additionally, mulch can help retain moisture and nutrients as well as promote microbial activity.
We thank the Girl Scouts for all of their hard work and are excited to work with them again in the near future. The Federation, in partnership with WSA, received a mini grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to continue our work to reduce erosion through the installation of rain garden bioretention areas and the addition of berms near a main building. The Girl Scouts will be involved in the plantings of these projects!