In the midst of a nasty political climate and people disrespecting neighbors, one of the happiest contrasts to that environment occurred Sunday morning at Fire Station 69 (Sunset at Carey).
Girl Scout Troop 7825 and Station 69 Firefighters teamed up to work on a delightful community beautification project. They replaced the rosemary plants in the station’s parkway with decomposed granite, agave plants and agapanthus (Lily of the Nile).
When you have a chance, stop by to admire the efforts of the two groups.
A chance meeting led to the project. Village School parent Lia Seabold was driving by the station when she spotted Captain Jeff Brown on his hands and knees in the rosemary bushes on Carey. She pulled the car over and asked him what he was doing.
“I’m just trying to keep the weeds out,” said Brown, who expressed a desire for lower-maintenance plants, but said there was no money to replace them.
Seabold told Circling the News, “They didn’t have the money to replace the rosemary and we had cookie money—so I thought ‘Ah ha!’”
The Girl Scout Troop members, who attend Village School, have been meeting since they were in second grade, are now sixth graders. The Troop will disband after this year and a decision had to be made what to do with the $3,000 they had collected.
“We’ve been selling cookies,” Kaitlin told Circling the News.
“We’ve sold hundreds of cookies each year,” said Natalie, who noted that until this last year, the Troop had been meeting once a month. “We’ve done a lot of activities that can help the community.”
“It’s fun just getting to help,” Kaitlin said.
Seabold explained the idea and the girls agreed that the Fire Station community project would be the perfect place for their cookie money to be invested.
Firefighters used the money to purchase decomposed granite, soil, mulch, rocks and then repaired the sprinkler system. All that remained was the actual planting, which took place on March 14 with nine Troop members on hand to help.
Cora was an old hand at planting, having done it at her sleepaway camp and at her old school, and was anxious to get started.
“I can’t thank you enough for being here, and for the donations,” Captain Brown told the girls.
He showed them how to mix the soil and soil amendment with shovels and put it in the ground. Next, he showed how deep to plant the agave, and then each team of girls worked with a firefighter to place the plants on two sides of the station.
One of the Girl Scouts proclaimed, as she wielded a shovel, “Loving the dirt!”
This was the first time the Troop had been together in a year. “I’m so grateful for this project to bring them back together,” said Seabold. “Most live in Pacific Palisades and they will be able to see this as it grows and be able to say they were part of it.”
As soon as the agaves were planted, the girls and their firefighter counterparts went to the front of the station along Sunset and planted the agapanthus.
When all the planting was completed, there was a special surprise. A palm tree was planted on Carey in honor of the Troop. If you walk by, you’ll see the dedication stone.
Brown asked the girls if they learned anything from the planting and they emphasized that they learned the importance of working together with the firefighters; that “shoveling can be hard;” and “firefighters are good at gardening.”
“I’m impressed with how hard you worked today,” Brown said. “Without your donation we couldn’t have done this project. When you have kids, you can tell them ‘We helped plant.’”