DEL MAR — Katelyn Hennes, a 17-year-old junior at Westview High School, partnered with the Del Mar Branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito to build a vegetable and herb garden for her Girl Scout Gold Award project.
“Katelyn’s vision brought a much-needed jewel to the outdoor area of Del Mar Branch,” said Candace Gerlach, clubhouse manager of the Del Mar Branch. “Being in the garden, you can feel how much care was put into it. It is warm and inviting and the children will enjoy it for years to come.”
The 6-foot-by-8-foot garden includes flowers that attract butterflies and humming birds, and an enclosed vegetable and herb garden. Numerous stepping stones were placed about with a sitting bench and colorful planter boxes that volunteers helped paint. About 30 volunteers came to help Katelyn over the April 1 weekend to make the garden a reality.
To prepare for the project, Hennes approached businesses and groups for help in planning the garden and for donations. Preparation also included gathering and sorting supplies, managing and scheduling the volunteers, making schedules for each specific teaching day with the children, and meeting with the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito to understand exactly what they wanted to grow in their garden and how to locate it.
Building the garden took about 20 hours and Hennes worked with three team members and numerous volunteers and Club members. Members of her high school National Honor Society helped her beautify the area surrounding the garden, along with members from her Girl Scout troop. This beatification process included pulling weeds, laying down soil, planting flowers, painting garden boxes and making a tin scarecrow for the garden.
Hennes plans to spend two hours a day for five days at the Del Mar branch of the Boys & Girls Club, where she will teach lessons devoted to different topics of interest such as: gardening, sustainability, nutrition and healthy cooking. Hennes is a member of troop 8116, and has been officially in Girl Scouts since the Daisies in kindergarten.