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New badge honors local scientist, educates on conservation


Girl Scouts in western Pennsylvania can now earn the new “A Legacy of Conservation” badge, which celebrates the work of a renowned local scientist.

“A Legacy of Conservation” focuses on the work of Rachel Carson, a prolific biologist, writer, and one of the founders of the modern environmental movement. Having grown up on the Allegheny River in Springdale, Carson called western Pennsylvania home.

Ultimately inspiring girls to discover how to positively influence the environment, the badge invites Girl Scouts to learn about Carson’s work through her writings, conduct an environmental experiment, assess their own impact on the Earth, and visit and study outdoor areas, including the Allegheny River, the Rachel Carson Homestead, or various sites named in her honor.

“Before working on this badge, I didn’t know a lot about Rachel Carson,” said sixth grade, Girl Scout Cadette, Rebecca Kibler. “I didn’t know how she made a difference in the world.”

Kibler is a Girl Scout in Freeport Area Girl Scout Cadette Troop 26460, which includes girls who live near the Rachel Carson Homestead in Springdale.

Another member of the troop, Mackensie Livingston, said, “We chose this badge because we were interested in seeing local connections to history. We were also very excited about going on a trip to the Rachel Carson Homestead together.” Livingston added, “We really enjoyed touring the house and hiking on the property around it.”

This Council’s Own badge, which means it is unique to Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania, aims to use hands-on science to educate on the study of environmental health. Lori Kibler, leader of Cadette Troop 26460, added that she enjoyed the conversation she had with the girls as they began to understand the importance of Carson’s work and explored the laws and usage of chemicals during that time.

As part of a generous grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, the first 1,000 girls who earn the badge will receive it for free.

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