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Girl Scouts of North East Ohio Sets Out to Save Butterfly Species with Help of Ohio Environmental Education Fund

Macedonia, Ohio– Girl Scouts of North East Ohio (GSNEO)’s Camp Timberlane is the new site of a butterfly conservation effort! West Virginia White (WVW) butterflies have made the camp their home, and with help from the Ohio Environmental Education Fund, GSNEO is working to make the habitat better for these beautiful creatures.

Currently, Camp Timberlane is being invaded by the garlic mustard plant, a plant that is poisonous to WVW butterflies. Currently, Girl Scouts are working to remove this plant, introduce new native plants, and educate the community about invasive species and biodiversity.

Thanks to the Ohio Environmental Education Fund, educational signage placed around the camp will be seen by nearly 2,300 visitors each year. The fund also allows GSNEO to do a variety of related programs for girls. Brownies, which includes girls grades 2-3, can attend a day camp where they can earn science-related badges. Nearly 100 juniors, which includes girls grades 4-5, can participate in resident camps to complete the Citizen Scientist Journey. Family events are offered that focus on removing invasive species and planting native plants will educate over 400 Girl Scout members.

While participating in these camps, girls will have access to special equipment paid for by the grant including microscopes and insect nets. The first of many events, Mission: Protect Camp!, took place October 13. Girl Scouts came out to camp and learned about the native and invasive plants at Camp Timberlane. After the presentation, the girls hiked camp to remove invasive plants. In addition to bettering the camp property, the girls also made paper mache seed paper that including native plant seeds to spread in the wild.

“I really enjoyed learning how to recycle paper using water and seeds to make seed paper that we can use to plant new flowers,” said Evelyn Shafrath of Brownie Troop #50362.

Habitat restoration efforts for the WVW butterfly and other native species will continue throughout 2018 and into 2019.