By Janee Law
After collecting hundreds of pounds of plastic caps and lids to recycle and transform into park benches, Girl Scout Troop 239 held a ribbon cutting Friday before Earth Day to celebrate the completion and installation of its first bench Silas Wood School Sixth Grade Center School in Huntington Station.
This is part of the troop’s efforts to work towards their Bronze Award, the highest award a Junior Girl Scout can earn which incorporates a minimum of 20 hours per girl together with a sustainable project that benefits the community.
Christine Reilly, co-leader of the troop, said the ribbon cutting was held the day before Earth Day to send a positive message.
“This project was really about recycling and taking things that you might otherwise have discarded and putting them to good use,” Reilly said. “It’s so important that we all appreciate the natural resources that we have. If people just recycle instead of tossing things out, we would be able to make a significant difference.”
The original goal was to collect 1,200 pounds of plastic to assemble in three benches by the Green Tree Plastics in Indiana. The troop surpassed that number and decided to continue their efforts, with a new objective to collect 800 pounds of plastic caps and lids to assemble two additional benches.
“We’re on a roll and the flow of caps is continuing,” Reilly said. “Our girls are still excited about it, the community is still excited about it and we just felt like we weren’t ready to be done.”
While the second bench will be donated to Maplewood Intermediate School and the third donated to Birchwood Intermediate School, Reilly said the fourth bench will be donated to Countrywood Primary Center and the fifth to Oakwood Primary Center.
“We have some girls in our troop that are called Daisy’s and they go to those elementary schools so we thought it would be nice to get benches for the schools that they attend,” Reilly added.
The plastic collected for the third and fourth bench will be shipped out within the next few weeks, with hopes to install them before the end of the school year, Reilly said. She added that she anticipates for the fourth and fifth bench, which will be buddy benches, to be installed at the elementary schools at the beginning of next school year.