May 21, 2024 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Girl Scouts plan for Community Christmas Tree

Girl Scout Troop 2191 wants to make Christmas a little more merry in St. Joseph. 

The troop presented the village board with a proposal to purchase a community Christmas tree. 

Juliet Waldeck told the board that the fourth and fifth-grade scouts wanted to complete a project that would benefit the village. 

The scouts have recently completed a Citizen Scientist Journey Award which taught them to observe and describe what they see in nature. 

“We were thinking about planting a tree for the village and noticed that we needed to know more about trees,” said Preslee Lyons 

The Troop met with a local arborist to learn about trees. 

The Troop is working to complete their Bronze Award. The Bronze Award allows them to notice a concern and come up with a sustainable solution to benefit the community, said Zoey Bird. 

The Troop told the board they noticed the 2023 Community Christmas Tree fell over due to wind. 

“We are trying to help solve this problem by planting a real Christmas Tree,” said Bird. 

The Troop plans to buy a Norway Spruce that was recommended by the arborist. 

The tree would be resistant to bugs and diseases, Everley Vandewalker-Cox said. 

The Troop plans on buying a six to 10-foot tree. 

“The tree will grow two feet each year,” Vandewalker-Cox said.  

The tree could grow to 60 feet tall and 30 feet around and can live up to 60 years. 

The tree will need to be watered weekly for the first two years and should be planted in April or May, said Scarlett Steinbach. 

“After two years the tree will need very little maintenance,” Steinbach said. 

The Troop has raised $120 through cookie sales and community donations said Genevieve Kuhn. 

The tree they want to purchase is $240. 

They are asking the village for permission to plant the tree within the village. 

The Troop has reached out to community organizations including the St. Joseph-Ogden Future Farmer’s of America, for help with the project. They also plan on working with the Village Gardners and SJO student organizations.

The Troop wants the project to be sustainable for years to come, said Isabelle Hueber. 

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