By Brendan Dyer
Cadettes from the Girl Scout Troop 2177 started planting a community garden in partnership with the Putnam Valley Parks and Recreation Department last week in hopes of sprucing up a newly acquired town campground.
The garden will consist of three raised garden beds themed around local and national Girl Scout history as the town begins shaping the John V. Mara property it purchased last year.
Lisa Kroohs, Director of Childcare Services, and Craig Cotone, Recreation Assistant, helped the troop decide on the type of garden beds to use. Along with help from Rebecca Ligrani, the Environmental Horticulture and Natural Resources Community Educator from the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County, the troop planned an efficient variety of plants that provide nutritional and ecological value.
The troop is most excited about a garden bed filled with plants known as the “Three Sisters.”
This combination of plants, corn, beans, and squash are said to have an ecological balance and work together to grow efficiently. They’re also the three main crops of various Native American groups.
Ligrani said the combination is efficient because the beans grow around the corn stalks while the squash protects the soil and roots by shading out weeds. The girls of troop 2177 and their leader, Bethany Sposato, liked the combination because comparable to the Three Sisters crops, they’re a sisterhood.
This project will contribute to the troops progression toward the Silver Award, the prestigious milestone that comes before the Gold Award. This award challenges them to make a permanent change in their community.
When they’re finished planting, Troop 2177 will maintain the garden through June, then day campers at the new facility will take over in July.
The troop worked diligently leading up to planting day by building the wooden garden beds, filling them with topsoil, and enriching the soil with natural resources. Curt’s Homestead Floral Designs and Plant Shop on Oregon Road in Cortlandt helped the girls pick plants and assisted in acquisition.
Sposato says she hopes the project will help work toward implementing a community garden at the new day camp facility on Brookhill Road. The 161-acre property is an area of forest along Peekskill Hollow Creek just east of Putnam Valley Town Park.