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A Garden Abuzz - A Gold Girl Story

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Miranda Sanders of Sevierville jumped at the opportunity to add a garden to the arboretum at Walters State Community College to address the importance and loss of pollinators. She used this opportunity to earn her Gold Award from the Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians.

Gold Award Girl Scouts are high schoolers who address issues they’re passionate about by planning and implementing a project that produces lasting change in the community and beyond. It is the Girl Scouts’ highest and most prestigious honor.

“My Girl Scout leader told me that Walters State reached out to her about a project, so I met with the school and learned about their needs,” Miranda shares. She learned that they needed a garden, and “I got excited because I love nature. My garden addresses the loss of pollinators in the U.S. and their importance.”

Miranda has lived around the world with her military family, including North Carolina; Sicily, Italy; Massachusetts; and Tennessee. She remembers a beehive that was in her yard when she first moved to Tennessee, and “I really enjoyed watching the bees in the flowers and weeds and noticed how hard they worked.” That memory fueled her while working in the pollinator garden. “I enjoyed planting the flowers and seeing how much they grew in such a short time!”

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Cutting materials for the garden's kiosk.

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Applying polyurethane wood finish to the wood of the kiosk.

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Raising the garden bed and screwing the board and the support together.

Self-described as compassionate, exuberant, and determined, Miranda’s determination came in handy while trying to complete a project during a global pandemic. There were shutdowns and safety concerns that kept her from interacting more with the community. Then, a construction project at the college delayed her even more. “I learned patience and that there will always be setbacks, but we adapted, overcame, and gratefully finished it in time.”

Miranda enjoyed spending time with her family and credits them for playing a big part in the completion and accomplishment of her Gold Award Project. “It’s OK to ask for help, you can’t do something this big by yourself.” She is proud that the garden is something that so many people in the community can enjoy for years to come.

She recalls a favorite Girl Scout memory when her troop sold cookies in a subway in Boston. “There were hundreds of people rushing about, and we created a song and dance to get people to stop. I had a blast, and it was an awesome experience.” 

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Installing the posts in the ground with rebar.

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The completed garden and kiosk.

These days, she enjoys spending time with her family, her dog, Rascal, her boyfriend, and her best friend since second grade. She loves to dance, play sports, watch movies, and be outside. She also loves making people laugh and being with kids. 

She’s attending the very school where her Gold Award project is located: Walters State Community College. “Since I did dual enrollment classes my senior year of high school, I have only two semesters left for my associate degree, and plan to attend either East Tennessee State University or Johnson University afterward.” Miranda plans to major in education with hopes of becoming a third-grade teacher. 

Congratulations to Miranda and all of our 2021 Gold Award recipients!

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Giving a presentation about her Gold Award project to younger Girl Scouts.