Native plants

Dear Editor:I have been a Downey Girl Scout for the past eight years, and I am in the process of finishing my Gold Award which is the highest award that can be achieved by a Girl Scout - so this is a major step in my personal development. To be able to achieve the Gold Award I am required to find an issue that I can be passionate about, and create a service project that will aid this issue in the long run. I chose the environment as my issue because the reality is we all need to change our views towards the environment or else there will not be anything left for future generations to enjoy. But the environment is a broad topic, that is why I narrowed it down to native plants. Why native plants? Well, native plants give us a glimpse of what our natural world really looks like without all our developments on top of it; they attract native insects and animals that may otherwise be on the verge of extinction, and they are the better alternative compared to other plants because they do not deplete the soils' nutrients. With the permission of the City I was able to plant a native plant garden at Denis the Menace Park, and post an informative sign describing the plants I had planted and some quick facts about native plants and what we can all do to protect the environment. A main purpose of my project is to educate the public about the advantages of cultivating native plants. I have made presentations to two children camps where I explained about the benefits of cultivating native plants in a fun manner so that the children be receptive about the information and perhaps talk their parents into planting native plants in their back yards. I have prepared pamphlets explaining the benefits of planting native plants which I will distribute to local elementary schools and to the Downey library. A project of this magnitude could not have been accomplished without the cooperation of many people and I wish to express my thanks to Mrs. Carol Rowland, the Keep Downey Beautiful coordinator for Downey for her guidance in steering me to the right people in the city government to get the proper approvals and permission to do my project. Special thanks are due to the Downey Rotary Club for their generous financial contribution to cover some of the expenses of the project and to Mrs. Cindy Bartle of H&H Nursery who gave me a great discount on the price of the plants which made my project more affordable. It is my sincere desire that the citizens of Downey get more informed about the benefits of cultivating native plants and I would like to invite them and their families to come to Dennis the Menace Park to take a look at this special garden. I'm sure they'll be inspired by the beauty of the plants. Mariah Montero Downey

********** Published: Aug. 8, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 17