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Maple Grove Voice

New Bench Unveiled as Part of Girl Scout Troop 14187 Silver Award

May 17, 2017 06:30AM ● By Wendy Erlien

Girl Scout Troop 14187 Silver Project participants Emily, Erin, Sophia, and Taylor. (photos by Wendy Erlien / Maple Grove Voice)

To help support and provide awareness of mental wellness in the community, four members of Girl Scout Troop 14187 unveiled a new mindfulness bench in Maple Grove. 

Maple Grove residents and Wayzata Central Middle School students Emily, Taylor, Sophia along with Wayzata East Middle School student Erin – all part of Girl Scout Troop 14187 – worked to bring the bench to a trail off Juneau Lane as part of their Silver Award. 

The seventh graders hosted an unveiling ceremony on May 12 to encourage mental health awareness and wellness and to celebrate the project. Along with the display of the new bench, the Girl Scouts shared stress-reducing activities and ‘brain food’ for family, friends, and community members in attendance. The girls stated they wanted to create “a space for people to destress” and “hoped it helps.” 

“I was very impressed with their interest in bringing awareness to the community about mental wellness and their idea to have a bench to give people a place to relax and be mindful,” Maple Grove Parks and Recreation Administrative Supervisor Patty Anderson said. “They were prepared and had thought through their project before they made an appointment to make a proposal about their Silver Project.” The troop started planning for the project in 2016. 

The Maple Grove Parks and Recreation has an existing bench sponsorship program where the city works with interested community members to place a bench on the trail system. Since the program is already in place, “it was a good fit,” Anderson said. 

 When preparing for their Silver Award project, the Girl Scouts had several ideas, according to Troop Leader Beth Furcht. One common thread, she said, was a way to help address the stress and anxiety people are experiencing. 

“They wanted to create a place for peace and serenity,” Furcht said, stating she was “very proud” of the group. 

At the May 18 Park Board meeting, the bench sponsored by Girls Scout Troop 14187 will be officially received.  “It will be one more learning opportunity for the girls to present at a public meeting and learn a little about local government,” Anderson said. 

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