SCOUTING is alive and well in most communities across Canada. It probably is the first connection that many young people have with the outdoors. Over the course of the last year, our Scouting members in Peterborough (15th Peterborough Salvation Army Scout Group and others) have been involved in several initiatives that have benefited species at risk and the environment in general. There are many negative news reports of youth in our country, but here in The Patch, our youth are making a POSITIVE DIFFERENCE for nature.
For 11 years, members of local Scout groups have taken thousands of pounds of trash and recycling materials out of Little Lake and from around the lake’s shoreline. Scouts have removed larger items such as bikes and construction waste to cigarette butts, food wrappers, and syringes. Other items have included a toaster over and half a guitar! Due to the ongoing efforts (and hopefully the awareness that the programme brings), the amount of garbage and recycling collected has been declining in recent years. The benefit? Cleaner lake for wildlife and a safer and healthier environment for all of us.
Planting Pollinator Species
One of our local Scout groups, the 15th Peterborough Salvation Scout Group, partnered with the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority (ORCA) on a project at Langley Park Scout Reserve, one of our local Scout Camps located just outside Peterborough, in Cavan. As funding came through for species at risk we were able to plant 75 pollinator species in two different areas of the camp. These new plants will provide important additional habitat for pollinators next summer and beyond. As these grow, they will be split and new beds will be created. The Scouts will also continue to positively impact pollinator species populations by building pollinator houses.
Small projects like bird houses are easy for youth of all ages. All it takes is some small pieces of wood, a few nails and one meeting night. Houses that were put up in back yards and at a local camp took some time be occupied, but in time, they have provided housing for tree swallows and wood ducks.
Each May, hundreds of local Scouts plant thousands of trees in partnership with ORCA and local landowners. From farms to old landfills, these trees have helped to once again provide nesting habitat and food for birds and other species.
So, the next time you are tempted to reflect negatively on kids, remember these four positive examples of youth doing the right thing.