Release Date: Friday, July 27, 2012
Who: Girl Scout Troop 858 and the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA)
What: Partner to enhance and refurbish and older bus stop
Why: As part of a Girl Scout community improvement project for a demanding Girl Scout Bronze Award
When: July 2012
Where: Sunset Point Road east of US 19
Thanks to an eager and enterprising group of young Girl Scouts, Pinellas County has a newly refurbished and beautifully landscaped bus stop along Sunset Point Road in Clearwater. The stop is just east of US 19 and served by PSTA’s Route 62. “The girls got together to discuss community projects that they could undertake to earn a Bronze Award,” says Scout mom Sharon Akers-Tower.
The bronze award is the highest honor given to Girl Scout Juniors, who are Scouts in fourth or fifth grade. The first step in earning a Bronze Award requires the scouts to form a team to explore their community and develop ideas for an enhancement project. “One of the girls noticed that the bench was broken at this stop, which is close to our meeting venue,” says Akers-Tower. She suggested that the team fix and beautify the stop and the others agreed.”
The team then contacted PSTA Maintenance Manager Kevin Hoyt and asked if he would work with them to improve the stop. Hoyt and his staff were eager to help and quickly provided a new concrete pad and bench. The scouts then painted the bench in Girl Scout colors, added their troop number – 858 and surrounded the stop with decorative flowers and mulch. “They did an awesome job and the stop is beautiful,” says Hoyt. “They’re a very impressive group of youngsters.”
The girls lined the stop with numerous butterfly and hummingbird friendly plants and then visited it every day for weeks to water them and make sure they took root. “Now, every morning there are butterflies all around the stop, it’s really amazing,” adds Akers-Tower. As she talks with other parents, the scout team, Aleigha, Sydney and Rachel buzz around the stop adjusting mulch and reciting the names of the plants –Butterfly Bush, Honeysuckle, Purple Passion Flower, etc.
The Scouts and their families held a ceremonial ribbon cutting for the newly refurbished stop on Wednesday evening, July 25, 2012. The crowd cheered as the girls cut a big red bow that had been draped across the front of the stop. The scouts and their loved ones then enjoyed cups of ice cream as they took turns trying out the new bench and admiring the new landscaping.
To Learn more about riding PSTA or how to plan a trip, visit www.PSTA.net or call the PSTA InfoLine at (727) 540-1900.