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Golden Girl Scouts build sensory garden, bee pollinator


Two Central Bucks South teenagers who live in Jamison but are members of different troops now sport coveted shiny Gold Award pins on their Girl Scout uniforms. They are Jane Dalessio, now a freshman at Dickinson College where she’s studying data analytics and philosophy; and Morgan Miller, a senior. Dalessio aligned with Troop 21031. Miller belongs to Troop 21638.

The Gold Award is the ultimate prize available to higher-ranking Senior and Ambassador Girl Scouts. It is akin to attaining the Eagle Scout designation from Boy Scouts of America, and those seeking it must complete a series of demanding requirements.

Only 5.4% of eligible girls complete the work for the prestigious honor. Its end goal is to benefit the community. In this case, the communities are Warrington and Jamison.

Dalessio built a bee pollinator box for Warrington’s John Paul Park at Lower Nike on Folly Road. She said a member of the township’s environmental advisory council had asked her to take on the project.

“The decline in solitary bees is a global issue,” she said, explaining, “Their job is to pollinate flowers. They don’t live in hives” and must find places to lay their eggs.

Jane needed to build a 2-foot square box that would stand 4 feet above ground, so she sought volunteers to help her with the project.

“I went to a friend’s dad who has a woodworking shop and he told me what types of wood to use and how to construct the box,” she said.

She had her volunteers help her collect the materials and then “put it together piece by piece.”

They dug holes and placed the posts in concrete, filled the box with nesting materials and covered it with chicken wire to protect it from squirrels. She said the bees lay four to six eggs in tubular holes.

“They don’t make honey, they just pollinate,” she said. “The bees have such a huge impact on the environment.”

Miller earned her Gold Award by planning, creating and managing a sensory garden at Jamison Elementary School.

She refurbished an abandoned garden at the school, which she’d previously attended. The garden fell into disrepair during COVID-19, Miller said.

To provide a face-lift for the neglected space, she formulated a plan to bring sight, scent, sound, touch and taste to the garden, which is available to the entire community.

Miller organized a core team of teachers and students to raise funds for the project. The teachers made 3-D sensory toys and sold them, she said.

The team worked on raised garden beds and planted seeds for sustainable plants and vegetables, paying close attention to the sensory concept, ensuring a variety of colors, scents, textures and tastes, attracting butterflies and bees. The team nurtured the plants through their growing days and also sold plants before Mother’s Day.

“The garden has become a really nice place for the community to come and enjoy the colors and touch the flowers or taste the vegetables,” Miller said.

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