Girl Scout Troop beautifies Howbert Legacy Path

       When Junior Girl Scout Troop 213 began its project last April, the 70-by-20-foot parkway section near Howbert Elementary's school-bus loading area was just “a big pile of dirt,” Stacy Kasten explained.
       But this did not daunt the scouts or mothers like Kasten. And this month, in time for the start of school, the troop opened what's called a Legacy Path where the dirt pile had been.
       Surrounded by xeriscaped plantings, the path is formed of “legacy stones” - inscribed standstone blocks, 6 by 12 inches on the surface, that Howbert sells for $60 each, with proceeds to support school art programs. People can still order blocks through the school.
       The five troop members were all Howbert students last year (a couple have since moved on to Holmes Middle School). They met for regular workdays throughout the summer to clear the land, spread the dirt, mulch it, plant the shrubs and continue watering them. Beforehand, they visited Colorado Springs Utilities' Xeriscape Garden on the Mesa to learn more about that knd of planting, including what plants might succeed and which the deer would be less likely to munch on.
       The girls' fund-raising - including cookie and poinsettia sales - allowed them to hire a company to come in and lay the stones in a permanent and professional manner, troop leaders explained. The plants were donated after the troop members sent out requests.
       “It was a lot of hard work, but it turned out beautiful,” commented Roxanne Linhart, another of the Scout mothers.
       The project came about when the Howbert PTA started selling the stones last school year. “That's when the Scouts stepped up and said 'we'll beautify the area,'” Linhart said.
       The girls are proud of their efforts, which has earned them the Bronze Girl Scout Award for a community service project. “It makes Howbert look better,” said Bonnie Griesan.
       “I liked seeing it when it was done,” said Rebecca Michaels.
       They are scheduled to be honored with their awards at a Wagon Wheel Girl Scouts Council awards assembly in May.

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