People visiting Sanders Preserve in Glenville can now do their part to stop the spread of the invasive species thanks to a local Girl Scouts.
Arianna Stark, a senior at Scotia-Glanville High School, received her Gold Award Saturday morning at the Preserve, where she built a boot brushing station for people to make their way to the preserve.
According to the new recipient, the Gold Award is the highest Girl Scout honor.
“It feels really cool,” Stark said of building the station. “It was something I really wanted to do, but didn’t know how to do.”
The project involved working with the Capital Region Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management, the Schenectady County Conservation Committee and the City of Glenville to map the invasive species in the Sanders Preserve and then building the Boot Brushing Station, which Also provides educational information on invasive species.
Stark, a Girl Scout since kindergarten, said she spent a lot of time hiking at the local spot during the shutdown of the pandemic. During that time she realized that she needed to do her part to keep the invasive species out. That’s when his scout project and passion for conservation clicked.
Three common invasive species located in the Preserve are Multiflora rose, honeysuckle and Oriental bittersweet, said Christopher Williams, invasive species coordinator with the Capital Region PRISM.
According to Williams, Capital Region PRISM, which is funded by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection, provided Stark with about $1,200 to aid his project.
Williams said invasive species can reduce the biodiversity of an area. They can also cause economic and health problems for the people.
“I encourage people to do their job,” she said.
Glenville supervisor Chris Coetzl said the city appreciates the work Stark has done.
“This is in line with what we are trying to achieve with educating residents on invasive species,” he said. “It’s all about stopping the spread.”
Koetzle said the boot brushing station is easy to use, comparing it to the shoe cleaning stations you see at golf courses. He said that you put your shoe on the brush and move it back and forth, this will remove the dirt and seeds from the plants. According to the town leader, the station will be maintained by the town.
Stark said doing the project helped her realize she wanted to study environmental science in college.
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