Girl Scouts plan service project

Forest Lake area Girl Scouts will be out raking leaves on Saturday, Oct. 13.

The project will raise awareness of the chain reaction that occurs when leaves and grass clippings are allowed to go down storm drains. The debris goes directly into the local watershed and promotes algae overgrowth.

The girls hope to improve the local water quality and help ease the burden of fall debris clean-up on city budgets.

During the event, girls will rake leaves in parks and public places, distribute door hangers to inform the public about ways to help, and mark storm drains with a message to remind the public that what goes down storm drains ends up in local rivers and lakes.

The project is part of the Centennial Day of Service 2012 Take Action Project, celebrating 100 years of Girl Scouting.

In 49 counties, more than 30,000 Scouts and adult volunteers will work to raise awareness about simple steps that can improve local water quality.

The Girl Scouts want to remind people that when grass, leaves and pet waste travel to waterways through storm drains, phosphorus is created by the decaying leaves.

The extra phosphorus burden in a lake causes excess algae growth, turning the clear water green. As a result, oxygen levels in the water are reduced, making it hard for fish and other animals to survive.

The goal is to stop 20,000 pounds of phosphorus from ending up in local waterways, preventing 10 million points of algae growth and saving $6 million in clean-up costs.

The participating Girl Scouts will also work toward earning a water quality patch.

The project is sponsored by 3M in partnership with the Freshwater Society.

Current Girl Scouts and girls interested in joining Girl Scouts can sign up to participate in this event until October 5. Call Melinda Peterson, CTap Coordinator, at 651.795.9214.

For more information about Girl Scouts and the Centennial Day of Service 2012 Take Action Project, go to GSRV100.org.

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