Maplewood Girl Scouts Launches Awareness Campaign for Essex-Hudson Greenway Project

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When Maplewood Girl Scout Troop 20248 presented an awareness campaign for the Essex-Hudson Greenway Project, which would create a nearly 9 mile walking trail from Montclair to Jersey City, at the Township Committee meeting on May 18, the students fifth-graders were surprised by the result. : a resolution of support to share with the governor and county officials.

“I am really proud and excited [about the resolution] because I thought it would just be a share at a city council meeting and they would be like, ‘Oh great idea. Then, ”said Girl Scout Lucie W. a few days later.

At the public meeting, the troupe presented a slide show to members of the township committee that presented the Essex-Hudson Greenway project, which according to the Greenway project website, would create more than 135 acres of new green space along unused rail lines.

The girls began advocating for this project, developed by the Open Space Institute, as part of their work towards a Bronze Award, the highest honor for Girl Scouts at their level. Their troop leaders Lynne Daley and Cristy Mendoza later explained that to win the award, each girl must commit to dedicate 20 hours to a girl-led project. The troupe chose to focus on the Essex-Hudson Greenway project after researching a variety of ideas.

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“I love that it helps the environment and it’s something I was interested in because… I would like to continue and be there,” said Scout Ilora P.

While brainstorming ideas for publicizing the green space project within the community of Maplewood, Girl Scout Lorelei H. mentioned that she had already spoken at a Township Committee meeting, and the troop thought it was a good idea.

At the meeting, they explained that now is the time for the community to express their support by visiting the Essex-Hudson Greenway project website and sign up for project updates and volunteer. Maplewood residents will soon see flyers and other troop materials as they implement the education campaign they have created.

“My goal is to let others know this because a lot of times people see Girl Scouts as tiny little girls hiking… but I think it can really really help the environment right now because we have much less green space, ”said Boy Scout Marianna D.

The troupe explained the importance of the community showing their support for the project throughout the month of June. A preliminary agreement was negotiated between the Open Space Institute and the Norfolk Southern Railway Company, current owners of the land, in July 2020, according to a press release posted on the New Jersey Bike & Walk Coalition website. But funding is still pending.

“We really need to get it moving because the owner of the greenway space is going to sell it to individuals at the end of June, because it’s the end of the fiscal year. And then there will be a bunch of shops and stuff instead of a nice hiking trail, ”Girl Scout Ruby C. said.

Troop Leader Daley clarified the complicated subject and said, “They’ve agreed to sell the entire coin if the counties and state agree to buy it and develop it as one coin, but it’s an offer. limited in time. If it’s not in somebody’s financial plan … if there’s no movement forward by the end of the year, then they’re going to start talking about the allocation.

Eight of the girls from Troop 20248 chose to participate in the Bronze Prize project and present at the Maplewood Township committee meeting. They are Lucie W., Ilora P., Ruby C., Lorelei H., Eva M., Ella M., Marianna D. and Madeline T.

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