Cleaning Up with Teamwork

This week girls from the 22nd Burnaby Mountain Guides and the 54th Burnaby Mountain Brownies worked together to collect litter, cleaning up the environment around Silver Creek and Forest Grove elementary school where the Guides meet.

Garbage 2

A registered service project with the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, this group of 17 girls managed to collect about 4 pounds of garbage — not bad since most of what they found was lightweight objects like food wrappers and cigarette butts. Together they walked about 4km, leaving the area much cleaner than they found it.

Garbage 1

The project started a few weeks ago when as part of their program work, the Guides invited the second year Brownies to one of their meetings so they could see what it was like to be a Guide. One of the things the Guides were doing that day was planning their upcoming community clean up project. The Brownies helped the older girls plan, brainstorming what supplies they would need, what routes they would take, and how to organize the day. It was a great example of girls taking the lead.

garbage 4

On the day of the clean up, the Brownies once again joined the Guides to see the project through. The girls started with a fun ice breaker game of Unicorn Tag to energize them and get them working together. Then they set out on the clean up.

Garbage 3

We are very fortunate in Burnaby Mountain District to meet in an area of such great natural beauty. The forests and creeks around our meeting places feature lovely and important greenery as well as salmon-bearing streams and habitats for wildlife like birds, bugs, and even bears. Thank you, girls and their leaders, for helping keep our community clean!

Guides Build Bird Habitats

This year, as part of a Canada 150 initiative, Lee Valley stores across the country are inviting community groups to help make bird and bee houses. Loss of habitat for our birds and bees is a growing concern across Canada. Birds help keep the insect population in check, while bees are important pollinators for our plants. To help combat the habitat loss, Lee Valley Store is partnering with the community to build bird houses and bee houses.

IMG_20170525_201441_resized_20170525_084355014

This week, the 56th Burnaby Mountain Guides had a great time contributing to this important ecological project!

The bird houses the group made will be going to the Surrey Parks department to provide homes for tree swallows. These very special homes feature a hole exactly the right size for tree swallows, but not for other species. To learn more about tree swallows, click here.

During the activity girls learned proper technique in using a hammer, screw driver, hand drill, plane, hand saw and a square; they also did the measurements to mark the spot to drill the hole, mark the corner cuts and mark the wood pieces to line up the walls evenly. New skills for everyone!

This was also a great chance for parents to lend a helping hand. Lots of moms and dads participated in this activity. It is so great to get to work on something together.

IMG_20170525_200132_resized_20170525_084351663

A huge thank you to the people at Lee Valley who made this possible. Not only did the girls have fun and learn new skills, but it’s great to know that these bird habitats are going to be put to excellent use helping wildlife in our community. A few other Burnaby Mountain Units are taking advantage of this opportunity as well. Such a great project!

Community Tree Planting Event

Yesterday, a small group of dedicated and hard working girls from three different units in our district got together to plant native plant species in Stoney Creek Park. The event was organized by the 1st Burnaby Mountain Sparks unit, who had won a tree planting grant from Girl Guides of Canada & TD Bank’s Friends of the Environment. Helpers also came out from the 56th Guides and the 14th Pathfinders. This event was part of Girl Guides of Canada Operation Earth Action National Service Project. The event was also made possible with the support and expertise of the Stoney Creek Environmental Committee.

A truck load of plants

Overall the hard working girls and adult volunteers planted about 50 plants native to the area.In addition to the almost $500 worth of plants you see in the truck bed, there were donations from the Stoney Creek Environmental Centre’s Nature Garden. Our plants included

  • Snowberry
  • Wintergreen
  • Salal
  • Kinnik Kinnik
  • Oregon Grape
  • Salmonberry
  • Sword Ferns

Great teamwork, all day!

One interesting highlight was that there were salmon spawning in the stream as the group worked — it definitely helped remind all of us why we were there. Stoney Creek is an urban stream that successfully hosts salmon every year. The natural environment in that area is precious and also at risk. That’s why it is important for people to help protect and replenish the area’s environment.

Watching the salmon

It was a cool rainy day, and everyone got mucky. Girls worked in pairs with either a Guide or a Pathfinder paired with a Spark, and the older girls showed incredible leadership skills as they worked with their buddies to accomplish this task.

Working together

After the planting everyone got to relax in the Environmental Centre with hot chocolate, cookies, and rice krispie squares. The ladies from the Environmental Centre told us about some of their other local projects and everyone got to take home some goodies, including a neat key chain showing different salmon species.

A HUGE thank you goes out to everyone who came out for this event. It was a lot of work, but it was for a great cause. A special thank you to Gail and Christine from the Environmental Committee — we couldn’t have done it without them.