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Girl Scouts plant oaks at Hickory Creek Barrens



Photo for: Girl Scouts plant oaks at Hickory Creek Barrens

Photo by Glenn P. Knoblock

Jamie Viebach found herself in a pickle recently when a company donated 350 oaks to The Conservation Foundation and there were too few volunteers to plant all of the trees before winter.

So Viebach, the Naperville-based foundation's youth programs manager, put out an SOS on Facebook. She quickly received offers of help from three Girl Scout troops, including two in Will County.

On Thursday, October 5, members of New Lenox Girl Scout Troop 748 planted 10 of the trees – red, white and swamp white oaks – at Hickory Creek Barrens Nature Preserve in New Lenox. About 15 girls participated in planting the trees. Another tree-planting will be scheduled in the near future for the second Girl Scout troop.

Typically, trees are planted through a school program called the Mighty Acorns, which was created by the foundation in 1993, but extra help was needed because of the volume of trees, Viebach said. She was thrilled to accept the help from the Girl Scouts.

"I love when we can get a lot of different groups involved in doing this work," she said.

Environmental restoration work is a good fit with the Girl Scouts' pillars of responsibility and being outdoors, and it helps create environmentally active adults, Viebach said.

"The Conservation Foundation's goal is to save land and save rivers," she explained. "We do this however we can. A big part of that is education. And teaching kids to value land and to value water at a young age leads to adults who value land and value water and will vote to protect it and volunteer their time to protect it."

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