Independent Thoughts: Girl Scouts focus on ‘bee kindness’

145
Bee Kindness Garden
A team of Hopkinton Girl Scouts created the Bee Kindness Garden on the Center Trail in 2018, and a younger group of Girl Scouts now maintains the garden.

There has been a lot of publicity in the last few years regarding the threats to our ecosystem due to a decline in the bee population.

Hopkinton Girl Scouts want to make sure that message is front and center. And it is, at the trailhead on Hopkinton’s Center Trail (just off Main Street).

The Bee Kindness Garden was created in the spring of 2018 by seventh-graders in Girl Scout Troop 65040. For their Silver Award project, the Cadettes took on a series of activities to raise awareness of the issue. The troop worked with town committees (Select Board, Upper Charles Trail Committee), civic organizations (Hopkinton Garden Club) and private businesses (McIntyre Loam, Woodville Lawn & Garden Service) to establish the garden with bee-friendly plants.

During the pandemic in 2020, with more people enjoying outside activities, the troop organized younger Girl Scouts to paint rocks with positive and encouraging messages and placed them in the garden.

According to troop leaders, the Bee Kindness Garden “is both a celebration of nature as well as the kindness exhibited through the inspirational words painted on rocks placed in the garden that reflect the overall theme of Girl Scouts as an inclusive organization.”

The girls who started the garden are now juniors in high school, and this year a younger troop answered their call to maintain the garden. Troop 62495, led by Lina Gill and Alexis Murphy, added new plants (donated by the Hopkinton Garden Club and Lowe’s of Milford), mulch (donated by Angel’s Garden Center), bee “hotels” and a bench next to the garden.

Girl Scouts Bee Kindness Garden

Meanwhile, first-grade Daisy Troop 83125, led by Rebecca Bacon and Katie Pierce, kept the garden watered and weeded over the summer.

“We are thrilled that Troop 65040 has passed the baton over to us!” Gill shared. “Over the years they hosted events to encourage kindness in our community, teaching others about the importance of bees, and their mission still continues today through care of the garden, its pollinators (bees and birds) and the addition of kindness rocks that people contribute and share words of encouragement and support for others who come to enjoy the trail. My hope is that our girls can add their own additions to this trail and garden over the years and continue to contribute to this mission.”

Hopkinton Girl Scouts boasts 175 girls in 25 troops, from kindergarten to Grade 12. For more information on the program, visit hopkintongirlscouts.org or email hopsucoordinator@gmail.com.

Hiller Block 5K Friday

The Hopkinton Middle School’s annual Hiller Block 5K is this Friday, and it will feature the biggest group of eighth-graders ever, reports Stephanie Whelan of the 26.2 Foundation, which sponsors the event.

Some 150 students have been learning how to properly train to run a 5K during the past few weeks in their elective physical education class. A number of teachers and administrators also are expected to run, with 25-30 parent volunteers monitoring the course.

The race begins at 1:15 p.m. at Field 1 (behind Doyle Gym). The course takes the participants around the turf fields and then two trips around Loop Road before finishing on the school track, in front of the bleachers.

PJB offers holiday help

The Hopkinton-based food pantry Project Just Because is looking to get out the word that it wants to help any families in need during the holiday season. PJB is providing holiday meals as well as gifts to ages 18 and under.

These programs are available now to anyone in need, from Hopkinton or anywhere in the state. No appointment is needed. Individuals can walk into the PJB facility at 109 South Street and sign up for a Thanksgiving meal and holiday gifts. The office is open Mondays through Thursdays from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., with extended hours to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Information also can be obtained at the PJB website: projectjustbecause.org.

Palmer runs for Dougie’s Team

Former Hopkinton resident Mike Palmer was slated to run the New York City Marathon this past Sunday as a captain of Dougie’s Team, supporting the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. Palmer has been raising money to help the Flutie Foundation continue to fund programs that help people and families affected by autism live life to the fullest.

Palmer, who grew up in Hopkinton and now lives in Brighton, is an autism self-advocate who recently completed his third Boston Marathon as part of Dougie’s Team.

“The Flutie Foundation has helped me to come into my role as a leader, runner and autism self-advocate,” Palmer stated. “I used to be very shy growing up, but when I started running I was able to break out of my shell and come into my own. I have been so lucky to raise funds and awareness for autism through my love of running!”

DPW: Don’t touch wires

The Oct. 26 storm — featuring heavy winds and rain — was another in an increasing number of damaging bad-weather events to hit Hopkinton. The Department of Public Works reported that it was out all night cleaning up storm damage, and the Hopkinton Police Department’s call log includes numerous reports of downed trees and wires.

The DPW wants to remind residents to never approach wires on the ground. Always assume they are electrically charged and stay clear for your safety.