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      Girl Scouts beautify trails for Silver Award project

      Kalina Eskew, Alex Reeves and Thursby Barwick each worked over 50 hours beautifying Ottumwa's trails.

      A group of young women are proving they care about the community.

      Girl Scouts Troop 926, made up of three girls from Ottumwa, planted flowers, placed stepping stones and cleaned up the rest area/shelter on the trail near Vine Street. They also worked on spots at each end of the walking bridge.

      The project is for the girls' Silver Award, the highest honor a Cadette Girl Scout can achieve. Each of the girls contributed more than 50 hours each to the project, which took a lot of planning.

      "We had already been planting for a couple of years and we thought that for our Silver Award, we could expand that and do a bigger project with it," said Thursby Barwick.

      To begin, the girls researched what plants could survive in the area and worked with a master gardener to get experience.

      "We had to think of what plants would be good in the area and what would be out in the sun and things that would be natural to the state," said Kalina Eskew.

      The girls also wrote and submitted a grant to the United Way for funds to help the project, as well as work with and present to the Wapello County Trials Council. The entire project gave them experience is several different areas, including public speaking, and was a lot of hard work, but worth it.

      "I think we just wanted to help beautify the trails, so more people could use them," said Alex Reeves.

      The project is almost complete, they just have to put in steps walking down to the shelter.