Girl Scouts mark centennial leaf raking

Neighborhoods, riverbanks and lakeshores were swarming with activity Saturday as Girl Scouts from Minnesota and Wisconsin were on the job for the organizations.

Lauren Kassulker and Audrey Raeker of Troop 13522 were busy raking up leaves at Anoka’s Akin Riverside Park on Saturday. Photo by Mandy Moran Froemming

Lauren Kassulker and Audrey Raeker of Troop 13522 were busy raking up leaves at Anoka’s Akin Riverside Park on Saturday. Photo by Mandy Moran Froemming

Locally, troops in Andover, Anoka and Ramsey were out in force, armed with rakes to do a fall clean up in several locations in the community.

It was the Centennial Day of Service: 2012 Take Action Project in partnership with the Freshwater Society to improve local watersheds. In the 49 counties of the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys Council, the project was designed to remove 20,000 pounds of phosphorus, prevent 10 million pounds of algae growth and save $6 million in clean-up costs through a one-day effort.

The Girl Scouts organization has been celebrating its 100th anniversary throughout the year.

In Andover the troops gathered at Oak View Middle School and then headed out to a number of locations throughout the city.

At the Crooked Lake boat landing, troops were gathering up leaves to keep them out of Anoka County’s waterways. According to Andover organizer Jennifer Stangret, the girls had a goal of collecting 800 bags of debris.

Stangret said five bags of leaves eliminates one pound of phosphorous from area lakes and streams. Phosphorous is created by decaying leaves, turning clear water green with algae. This depletes oxygen levels in the water, making it hard for fish and the rawer animals to survive.

In Anoka, the 186 Girl Scouts participating collected 801 bags of organic debris at Akin Riverside Park along the Rum River. In Anoka and Ramsey 445 door hangers were distributed, alerting residents to the importance of keeping that debris out of the waterways. Also in Ramsey, Girl Scouts marked 45 storm drains reminding residents “only rain down the storm drain.”

Mandy Moran Froemming is at editor.anokaunion@ecm-inc.com

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