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Local Girl Scouts to Receive Gold Awards May 21

May 18, 2006

Twenty-seven friends and students from La Cañada High School helped DJ Kast organize stream restorations in the San Gabriel Mountains with help from Ranger Karen Fortus. Due to the damage caused by the wildfires, winds and littering, mountainous streams were littered, and the stream banks were unstable. The surrounding trails were covered with debris and hard to recognize. The team restored the streams by picking up trash. They planted sage and buckweed seeds on trails that were no longer to be used. Additionally, five iron frames trail sign frames were painted and reset in concrete footings. These signs highlighted the consequences of littering. DJ’s group was rewarded with dramatic improvement in the appearance of the local environment and a sense that they had made a difference.

DJ is vice president of the Science Club at La Cañada High School, and participates in the Anime Club. She also participates in the Occidental Bridges in Science Program, as well as the Rainforest and Ecology Institute. On weekends, she volunteers at beach cleanups and other organized stream restorations. She also baby-sits neighborhood children.

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“I would like to thank my mother and father for always being there for me, and I appreciate everything they have ever done for me. Also, I would like to thank my friends and teachers that give me the energy and strength to continue,” says DJ.

Madison Kilbride

Maddy’s passion for helping children directed her Gold Project selection. Working with the Bienvenidos Children’s Center for her Silver Award, she remembered the vacant and unused rooms the facility housed. Realizing children should utilize this space, she decided to provide the needed books, toys, and videos that would transform a stark inhospitable space into a productive and lively recreation room. Believing that access to books is paramount to a child’s development, the main focus of the project was on providing reading materials to children who otherwise would not have them. It is her hope that the room will serve as a comforting and restful place for any child in need of a hopeful story or a friendly teddy bear.

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