July 14, 2024 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Troop 2191 purchases Christmas Tree for community

Girl Scout Troop 2191 wants St. Joseph to have a very merry Christmas.


In April the troop approached the village with their plan.

A plan that has now come to fruition.


In June, the troop purchased a tree that is now located at the site of the new village hall on Main Street.


Troop Leader Katrina Huber said the troop decided to purchase a Christmas Tree for the town after seeing the community tree knocked down by wind last Christmas.


“They recognized there was a concern with the tree falling over in the wind,” she said.


Huber said numerous businesses and residents donated to the cost of the tree.


“The girls were really excited about that,” she said. “The townspeople wanted this to happen.


Troop members Juliette Waldeck and Scarlett Steinbach said seeing their project come to fruition was great.


“It’s amazing,” Steinbach said.


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


During a ceremony to plant the tree, the troop told those in attendance that they chose the project because trees can help fight climate change by reducing the erosion of topsoil by wind and water, decorating heating and cooling costs, moderating the temperature, cleaning the air, producing oxygen and a habitat for wildlife.


Waldeck said planting the tree at the new village hall was special.

“It shows it belongs to the whole town,” she said.


The Troop met with a local arborist to learn about trees and selected the tree that is now at village all upon his advice.  The tree could grow to 60 feet tall and 30 feet around and can live up to 60 years. 
The Troop raised money by selling cookies and accepted donations.


Mayor Tami Fruhling-Voges said she loved having the girls take the initiative with the tree.


“Having the girls step up, its what makes me happy about the community, when you have young people, step up and say hey, we want to make the solution for a problem here,” she said.

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. To earn a Bronze Award, Girl Scouts must be in fourth or fifth grade, be a registered Girl Scout Junior and have completed a journey.  To finish the project they need to find an issue effecting the community, make a plan of action, put the plan into motion and then spread the word about their project.

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