Girl Scout, Hannah Suddarth, Creates Youth Gardens in Church Communities

Hannah is a recent Gold Award Girl Scout and her project entailed revamping her church community spaces into a youth garden. She implemented raised beds for gardening, tables and umbrellas. Since then, children have used this space as a learning center, an activity space and feature of the location. She learned how to project manage, collaborate with the community and manage skills and people. Hannah now attends community college, enjoys painting, playing the oboe and being involved in her church.

Q. What inspired your Gold Award project?
A. The youth program in the church community was lacking a useful space of their own. This unused space on the church campus was also labeled an eyesore. With the completion of this project, I solved two problems by converting the space into a youth/children’s garden and cleaning up and providing a productive area.

Q. Can you tell us about your project?
A. My project entailed building a children’s garden and setting up a gardening program for the youth of the church. In the garden, I provided raised beds for the gardening program to have room to explore and learn about all types of plants (i.e. annuals) that can grow in Arizona. In addition to those raised beds, I established two small perennial gardens and lined the perimeter of the garden with perennial plants. This will provide an additional opportunity for the children/youth to learn about and maintain perennial plants. I also provided tables with umbrellas to be utilized by a variety groups within the church (i.e. Sunday School children, Dove Youth Fellowship, adult groups) for a work/education/social gathering area.

Q. What were the results or impact of your project?
A. Parents of children who attend the church have commented that they love the new children’s garden and that they are excited to see how the garden inspires outdoor activities for the children. Other adults expressed their support by stating that they believe the garden will provide a very positive influence for the youth of the church.

Q. What important lessons did you learn about yourself
A. I now have experience with managing a large scale project. This can help me grow as a leader because I know I have developed the necessary planning and organizational skills to take on larger tasks efficiently. This project allowed me to strengthen my time management skills and helped me understand the importance of maintaining patience, working efficiently, and being able to effectively collaborate with many different people.

Q. How long have you been a Girl Scout?
A. I have been a girl scout for 13 years.

Q. What has Girl Scouting meant to you or what impact?
A. By being a Girl Scout, I have learned that I am capable of anything as long as I work hard, and maintain discipline and determination.

Q. What high school did you attend?
A. I attended Mountain Ridge High School

Q. Any other interesting information about yourself?
A. Within the garden I placed a Peace Pole. A Peace Pole is a monument that displays the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in the language of the country where it is placed, and usually three to thirteen additional translations. Its message is often referred to as a peace prayer. There are Peace Poles all over the world connecting these “places of peace”.

Hannah Suddarth is a Mountain Ridge Graduate.

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