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North Coast Area - Where is the Greater Bay Area?

Coastal Clean-up Day in Humboldt

Over 25 Girl Scouts joined volunteers from HSU and Friends of the Dunes to help with the annual Coastal Clean-up Day and the HSU Day of Caring on Saturday, September 20 at Little River State Park. Troops from McKinleyville, Arcata, and Trinidad participated to demonstrate their commitment to the Girl Scouts Save the Bay program that is dedicated to maintain the health of California shores.

The Girl Scout power was used to help pull invasive European Beachgrass which is crowding out native plants and disturbing the local ecosystem. The European Beachgrass was imported by the railroads in the early 1900's to stabilize the dunes and reduce blowing sands along their tracks. A child would sit at the rear of the train and throw out the seeds. Caltrans reseeded for the same reasons in the 1960s. Unfortunately, our natural ecosystem and native plants are dependent on blowing sand. The imported grass was so successful at stabilizing and building higher dunes, it has crowded out almost 100% of our native species.

Michelle Forys, Ranger at the Little River State Park, explained the history and the problems of the Beachgrass to the Girl Scouts and other volunteers and gave instructions on where and how to get busy helping to pull up the plants. Starting in the north parking lot area of Clam Beach, volunteers covered a 6 acre target area.

Girl Scouts representing Troops 70181, 70265, and 70536 from McKinleyville, Troop 70534 from Trinidad, and Troop 70260 from Arcata quickly adapted to using the gloves and trowels provided to pull the grass up by the roots.

Community service projects are an important part of being a Girl Scout. "Using Resources Wisely" is one of the Girl Scout laws and so programs which help the environment are high on the list of Girl Scout activities. Last year during their Fall Nut and Candy sales, Redwood Service Unit Girl Scouts distributed 1,000 free Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs to residents in Arcata, Blue Lake, McKinleyville and Trinidad.

For more information about future projects to help preserve the beaches and dunes in Humboldt, you can contact the Friends of the Dunes at 444-1397. For information about starting a Girl Scout Troop or joining the Girl Scouts, please contact the Eureka Program Office at 443-6641.

Return to North Coast Area Girl Scout Highlights.