Budding Environmentalists: Fort Bend County Master Gardeners Inspire Girl Scouts on a Journey of Nature Exploration
Photo: FBMG

Budding Environmentalists: Fort Bend County Master Gardeners Inspire Girl Scouts on a Journey of Nature Exploration

April 18 2024

The Fort Bend County Master Gardeners recently extended their expertise beyond the garden to help local Girl Scouts embark on a journey of environmental discovery to earn a STEM badge, known as the Design With Nature Badge.

The girls, aged five to nine, spent a Saturday morning at the Bud O'Shield Community Center, interacting with nature in a way they've never done before. Guided by the Fort Bend Master Gardeners, they constructed bird feeders and bee homes using recycled plastic bottles. Then over the next six days, they observed bird feeding habits as part of their homework.

Donna Blackburn, Youth Activities Director for Fort Bend County Master Gardeners, expressed the importance of such hands-on interaction with nature. "There is so much of the environment that they need to know about. This is one way to help them learn and get excited about and take care of the environment."

(Source: FBMG)

The Master Gardeners, who previously worked with the Girl Scout Council, were aiding the troop in earning a new type of badge this time. Blackburn said, "We've always done gardening, animals and other horticulturally related events. But this is a relatively new badge."

Among the troop were 8-year-old Charlotte who shared, "I had a great time today. I liked learning about birds." Nine-year-old Sophie found interest in understanding the different types of bird beaks and how they influence the bird's diet. The girls also learned about different types of seeds preferred by birds, the life of mason bees, and how to read tree trunks' concentric circles to determine the tree's age.

The Master Gardeners' initiative was highly praised by the moms present, such as Noreen Nawaz and Kelli Bennett. Nawaz, a physician who treats veterans with PTSD, accredits gardening with tremendous psychological benefits. She mentioned, "A number of patients have moved away from the city, started gardens, and improved their health. It's a very pure way of living."

(Source: FBMG)

Bennett, whose 8-year-old daughter Mallory is a novice Girl Scout, stated, "She's not very outdoorsy so I'm trying to push her to learn a little bit more about outdoor life. I don't have a green thumb; I'm hoping she does."

The experience left a lasting impression on the girls and their moms, highlighting the importance of nature and the role it plays in our everyday lives. By facilitating such encounters with the environment, Fort Bend County Master Gardeners help sow the seeds of love for nature in hearts young and old alike.

By Tiffany Krenek, My Neighborhood News 
Tiffany Krenek has been on the My Neighborhood News team since August 2021. She is passionate about curating and sharing content that enriches the lives of our readers in a personal, meaningful way. A loving mother and wife, Tiffany and her family live in the West Houston/Cypress region.

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