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Pollinator Power: A Gold Girl Story

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Laughton “Lottie” Miller of Signal Mountain partnered with Mountain Arts Community Center to create a garden full of plants native to Tennessee after learning that pollinator populations are in decline. Her efforts for this project earned her a 2022 Gold Award Girl Scout.       

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.

Lottie also created an educational component by installing a QR code at the garden that connects visitors to a web page she created that provides information about the plants, as well as other useful guidance on how to create pollinator gardens. 

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Lottie and her team working on the garden. 

She shares, “I enjoyed working on projects to benefit local pollinators throughout my time in high school, so I wanted to continue working with pollinators for my Gold Award project. I began to research native pollinators and the plants that attract them, and the idea to create an educational pollinator garden developed naturally from there.”

Lottie learned so much during the project, from specific plants’ impact on the ecosystem, to leadership skills by guiding volunteers who assisted with the project. She describes herself as determined and flexed that grit, creativity, and flexibility when the tree which she planned to install the garden around fell during a storm just before installation.

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The tree that fell. But, ever the resourceful Girl Scout, Lottie managed to still work the tree into her garden!

“I had to reimagine the shape and look of the garden but decided to keep the same location and even the fallen tree! It provides a habitat for pollinators like mason bees,” she shares. “Working on this project also taught me a lot about project management and planning to accomplish a task.”

“I had to complete a lot of research and create a budget before I could start setting up the garden, which taught me how to plan effectively and focus on the logistics. All of that planning helped the installation go more smoothly.” 

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Lottie and her team working on the garden.

Lottie has fond memories of her time in Girl Scouts, including a trip to Savannah, Georgia, to visit the Juliette Gordon Low house. “We had a really great time and learned a lot about the history of Girl Scouts.”

Lottie is now at the University of Georgia, studying regenerative bioscience within the school’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Science. She enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with her family and pets, cats Marigold and Tobi, and dogs Patrick and Nora.  

Congratulations, Lottie! Visit girlscoutcsa.org to learn more about the Girl Scouts.  

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Lottie shows off the finished garden.