When Marley Yambor needed a project for her Girl Scout Gold Award, she headed to her favorite park.
The Gold Award is the highest award in Girl Scouting. Senior and Ambassador scouts can earn the award by tackling issues that are dear to them and drive lasting change in their communities and beyond, according to girlscouts.org.
“The award takes immense dedication and leadership skills to complete and often takes the form of helping the community,” Marley said.
Marley, 18, an Ambassador Scout in Daniel Boone Girl Scout Troop 11022, said she focused on Green Lane Park for her project.
Green Lane, part of the Montgomery County Park System in Upper Frederick Township, is less than a half-hour drive from her home in Douglass Township, Berks County.
"I have been going to Green Lane Park with my family since I was young, a baby," she said.
An artist and nature lover, Marley hoped to use her skills and passion to benefit the park, so staff directed her to Kevin Crilley, Green Lane's park naturalist.
Crilley had a project in mind — restoring the park’s bird garden — he just wasn’t sure Marley would be willing to take it on.
“I proposed this project to other Girl and Boy scouts working on Gold and Eagle awards,” he said. “Some balked at it because it was pretty ambitious.”
The project included installing a split-rail fence with wire and planting bird-friendly bushes that would provide habitat and food for the park’s winged residents.
Green Lane works hard to keep its wildlife safe, including the avian residents, Marley said. Unfortunately, deer had been eating some of the bushes that produce the berries that help sustain bird populations, she said.
Not only did she accept the challenge, Crilley said, she added an extra component to the project: designing, crafting and installing an informational sign, featuring the park’s native birds.
“I thought ‘You want to do all this, plus the illustrations?’ ” Crilley said. “I had no idea of her skill set. This girl is mad artistic.”
Marley, the daughter of Wendy and Craig Yambor, is a senior at Boyertown High School. She plans to attend art school and major in animation.
Her hand-painted sign serves as a field guide to bird-watchers at the newly built habitat.
“(I) hope to spread a message of environmental awareness to help keep the park and its wildlife healthy,” Marley said. “We encourage people to enjoy watching the many birds that frequent the newly revitalized area.”