Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gold Award Spotlight: Avian Architecture

Girl Scout Ambassador Kaˋiulani from Virginia Beach, has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest honor and achievement in Girl Scouting.

For her project, Kaˋiulani focused on the competition between migratory indigenous species of birds and non-migratory invasive species of birds for food and space in her community. She recognized this to be an issue because this competition can force indigenous birds to change migration patterns and settle in other places, thereby causing a decline in the population of indigenous birds.

Kaˋiulani selected six bird species that are native to Virginia and constructed 20 birdhouses that would create ideal homes for each of the species. She then installed the birdhouses along the trail at Red Wing Park. In addition to the birdhouses, Kaˋiulani also posted information about each of the bird species on the trail in order to educate the public about local bird species. After the birdhouses were installed, Kaˋiulani hosted a special event at the park to share her project with others.

“In addition to the educational benefits, my project also allows visitors to the park to observe and enjoy indigenous birds of Virginia,” Kaˋiulani said.

Kaˋiulani chose this project because she has enjoyed going to Red Wing Park since she was little, and she wanted to add something special to the park. She is also interested in science, and through this project she learned more about basic principles of life science, including natural selection and competition.

The Gold Award requires girls to identify an issue in their community and carry out a Take Action project to address the matter through leadership work. Nationwide, less than 6 percent of eligible Girl Scouts earn the Gold Award, which adds Kaˋiulani to an elite group of female leaders across the country with the honor.