In March, Fort Zumwalt South High junior Keely Mannion earned the Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting. Earning the award means Mannion exemplifies a leader who has transformed an idea or vision for change into an actionable plan with a measurable and sustainable impact.
Mannion’s vision for change included helping restore a local park’s wetland. Vicki Philips, Mannion’s troop leader and St. Peter’s director of parks operations, helped in a big way. Phillips shared a list of projects that need to be completed at St. Peter’s Lakeside Park. Mannion came across a project description that simply read, “plant trees in water.” Mannion said she knew from reading this, the project was definitely going to be an adventure.
Leading a team that included her Girl Scout troop, family members and friends, Mannion wrapped the roots of more than 300 trees in burlap and then planted them directly into the 140-acre recreational lake, ultimately helping restore the park’s wetland. During the process of earning the Gold Award, Mannion said she learned how to organize her teams and their responsibilities, helping grow her leadership skills.
“My favorite part of the project was seeing the result of what the park looked like before and after,” Mannion said. “These plants are going to help animals and the lake because the vegetation will help create a cleaner lake.”