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Girl Scouts plan large-scale clean-up project Saturday

Published 10:15am Wednesday, October 10, 2012

While Girl Scouts will gather locally to make a big difference on Saturday, they’ll also join thousands more across the region during one, massive project.

As part of the Girl Scouts’ 100th anniversary, The Centennial Day of Service: 2012 Take Action Project is designed to remove 20,000 pounds of phosphorus, prevent 10 million pounds of algae growth and save $6 million in cleanup costs through this one-day effort.

Girl Scouts from Austin will gather at Oak Park Mall at 9 a.m. to clear leaves, sediment and trash from storm drains. Linda Dudley, local Centennial Day of Service coordinator, said Girl Scouts tackle a green project every year, but this year’s event may stand out.

“Actually, this is a special event because it’s our 100th year of Girl Scouting,” she said.

Maps provided by the city of Austin will help designate which drains need to be cleaned. A force of 97 volunteers has already signed up as of Wednesday, including 67 Girl Scouts age kindergarten to 12th grade accompanied by families, friends and possibly the Izaak Walton League and Rotaract.

Dudley stressed the fact that the drainages they are cleaning lead to waterways, not city sewers, so keeping them clean is important to prevent excess phosphorous and nutrients from entering streams.

“There’s definitely a ripple effect,” she said about keeping storm drains clean.

The volunteers will also place signs near the storm drains that say they do not go into the sewers. They hope that will prevent some from littering.

“Hopefully, that will make people realize that some drains do not go to our sewer system; they go directly to the waterways,” Dudley said.

Furthermore, Girl Scouts from many communities in the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys Council region will be working together to improve their local watersheds, too. Overall, the Girl Scouts River Valleys’ Centennial Day of Service will bring together tens of thousands of girls and adult volunteers from 49 counties throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. Volunteers across the region will try to spread the message of “Only Rain Down the Storm Drain” to raise awareness and improve water quality.

For more information, call 800-845-0787 or visit


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