Earth Day Special: Girl Scout Gold Award Honorees Help Protect Our Earth


In honor of Earth Day, we shed light on three Girl Scout Gold Award Honorees who shaped their Gold Award Projects around helping the environment. Molly McPherson, Julie Monington, and Angela Smith, all of Girl Scouts of Colorado, each identified a problem they saw in the environment and figured out how to help! Read about these inspiring girls below, what inspired them, and how their projects succeeded.

On Earth Day (and every day!), it’s important to be conscious of the impact we have on our precious earth. There are lots of simple ways to be kind to Mother Earth! Reduce your showers by a minute or two, use a reusable water bottle, pick up trash outside, recycle, or try starting a compost pile. Whichever way you choose, every little bit helps!

Meet 3 Environmentally Friendly Girl Scouts!

Molly McPherson: “Saving the World One Bottle at a Time”

Molly McPherson (Photo provided by Girl Scouts of Colorado)

What did you do for your Gold Award project?

Molly: Bottled water has horrific environmental and health effects, and costs an absurd amount of money for buying water, a liquid that is most often close to free.  An average American uses 167 plastic non-reusable water bottles in one year, however, by being proactive we can reduce our impact on our environment including the air, and oceans specifically.  My role in this issue, was promoting the use of reusable water bottles, as well as uncovering the truth of the harmful effects of bottled water.  I created a 25 minute presentation on the subject that I had researched then I presented in 12 different places, including elementary, middle, and high school classes, as well as clubs, and a business.  I also created a website ( and Facebook page. I informed at least 300 people about plastic water bottle pollution, and I gave out stickers with my website domain to people to spread the word about my project.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement?

Get more safe water drinking tips HERE!

Molly: I have shared my presentation with over 300 people, and given them stickers with my website address.  People will always be able to view my website, and learn about the issue.  I will also be coming out with a short movie soon that I will share.  In addition, I have several presentations scheduled for the future, so I will continue to reach new audiences.

One of my presentations was for my school’s garden club in which I am involved.  They have agreed to continue my presentation for years after my involvement in the club.  I have shared my presentation with them and my note cards for each slide with all the information so that they will be able to continue the presentation.  In this club, we typically grow a garden, then harvest our crops in the summer, however in the winter we always try to learn more about the subject, and work to become more eco-friendly, and educated on the subject.  So this is something that they can learn about every year as new members join.

Read more about Molly’s project HERE. 

Julie Monington: “Milkweed for Monarchs”

Julie Monington (Photo provided by Girl Scouts of Colorado)

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

Julie: In 2014, the Monarch Butterfly was on the verge of being on the endangered animals watch due to the large decrease in the population size.  After doing some research, I found several articles and learned  that the reason the population is struggling is because farmers and the general population were killing off milkweed. I created a butterfly garden at a horse sanctuary, and made several presentations on how to save the Monarch Butterfly to my sister’s troop and a preschool class.  In addition, I made a sign and website full of information on the Monarch Butterfly based on information from Monarch Watch and why they are endangered. I registered my butterfly garden on their site as a waystation, and it provides a connection and information for others to learn.

How is your project sustainable? How will your project continue to impact after your involvement? 

Julie: The sustainable aspect of my project relies on the owner of Friends of Horses, the rescue I made the garden, to maintain it. I have also provided the educational materials I used for my presentations to the owner so he would be able to offer the lessons at his summer camps.  In addition to this, the property maintainer and volunteers will take care of the garden.

Read more about Julie’s project HERE.

Angela Smith: “Growing Bees!”

Angela Smith (Photo provided by Girl Scouts of Colorado)

What did you do for your Gold Award project? 

Angela: I implemented an educational program about bees at a local environmental center, The Catamount Institute. I wanted to address the problems facing bee populations, so I built a beehive and planted a garden to provide a good habitat for one hive of bees. I also wanted to use it to get others to care about bees as well, so I had children get involved in the painting of the beehive and planting the garden. I then created a six part curriculum to be used in conjunction with the beehive and gardens that will be carried out by the Catamount institute on field trips and summer camps.

How  is your project sustainable? How will  your  project  continue to impact after your involvement? 

Angela: The Catamount Institute gives regular field trips as well as camps over the summer. They have been given a full guide to the curriculum and plan to use it moving forward for their field trips. Additionally, for everything I have done for the project, I typed up a manual- how to build the beehive, how to plant a bee-friendly wildflower garden, how to winterize the beehive, and details on the curriculum. This manual was provided to the Catamount Institute and sent to other wildlife centers to encourage them to set up a similar program.

Read more about Angela’s project HERE.

Want to get involved in Earth Day? Here’s How!


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