By Justin Liggin
Photos Courtesy of Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council
When not disposed properly, monofilament fishing line can entangle wildlife and cause serious harm like feather damage and lacerations. After seeing the effects of this at their local parks, 12-year-old Aurora Arnett and 11-year-olds Mona Wilson and Shante Summers from Girl Scouts–Arizona Cactus-Pine Council Troop 558 collaborated on a project with Peoria park rangers to create fishing line recycling bins for Paloma, Pioneer, and Rio Vista Parks.
“I had seen the fishing line wrapped around the ducks and inside the lakes. We created these recycling bins so all the ducks and other birds cannot get hurt and because monofilament fishing lines can take hundreds of years to decompose,” says Arnett.
After the girls came up with ideas and researched the parts for the bins with a park ranger, Arnett and Wilson reached out to businesses across Peoria to gather gift card donations for raffle tickets to sell to buy the needed parts. Through their fundraising efforts, the troop was able to purchase bin parts and custom signs to educate the public on the importance of recycling the fishing line.
With shipping delays for the parts due to the pandemic and some parts not fitting correctly, the girls had to look for solutions, visiting local plumbing stores to speak to experts and find the correct parts.
“With this project, I learned resilience because we were able to overcome obstacles to complete the recycling bins,” says Arnett.
Once the five bins were assembled and installed across the three Peoria parks, Arnett and Wilson then spoke with members of the community about the importance of using the bins.
“Our girls are shining out there for everyone to see so we are ecstatic they were able to accomplish this,” says Troop Leader Kay Lacis.
In Girl Scouts, High Awards are presented to individuals who make a long-lasting sustainable impact in the community. With over 60 volunteer hours on this sustainable project, Arnett earned her Girl Scout Silver Award and Wilson earned her Girl Scout Bronze Award while Summers’ hours of contribution to research and cleanup helped her work toward a future Bronze Award.
To help local girls and their families learn how to get involved with the local Girl Scouts as well as how some of these outreach projects work, the Council is hosting fun, free events and programs through the end of the year:
Make New Friends, a four-part online series designed to boost your girl’s social skills and self-confidence.
Animal Dance Parties, an interactive Zoom party for girls to have fun and dance, meet new friends, and learn about Girl Scouts.
Robot Building Parties, an interactive Zoom party for girls to work together – albeit virtually – on “building their own robot at home” while learning about all the other adventures, science experiments, and outdoor activities they can participate in as Girl Scouts.
In-Person events throughout the Valley; families are invited to learn more about Girl Scouts at one of the local open-house-style events closest to them.
Visit and view the interactive map and calendar for upcoming informational events at girlscoutsaz.org/join.