BY MITCHELL KIRK For the kokomo tribune
---- — GALVESTON — When Girl Scout Senior Allie Lumpkin set out to come up with a unique solution to an ongoing societal problem for her Gold Award project, she decided to organize an afternoon-long festival that’s involved months of planning and participation from people and groups from all over the region.
The 15-year-old Galveston resident, driven by her passion for the environment, desire to see positive change and drive to excel in Girl Scouts, is bringing the Green Earth Festival to Galveston Park today.
“The festival itself is really a community event to help people understand about how their everyday decisions affect the environment,” Allie said.
It is Allie’s goal for that understanding to be manifested through several activities throughout the day. Interactive educational booths created by organizations in the community and region will be on display for visitors. A fellow Girl Scout troop will be presenting information on an ongoing project of theirs that entails collecting water bottle lids and sending them off to a company that uses the plastic to make benches. Allie said the troop already has two benches, one of which was placed in Galveston Park, and they are currently saving lids for a third.
The Howard County Soil & Water Conservation District will be among the booths as well, hosting an interactive activity about groundwater pollution.
Through the assistance of the Cass County Solid Waste Management District, several recycling collections will be available for attendees, including those for paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, steel, aluminum, medications and small and large electronics.
But not all recyclables will be discarded. Some will be saved for recycling-themed craft activities.
Works from a youth art contest will be on display. More information about entering the contest is available at the Green Earth Festival Facebook page.
Special guest Captain Recycle will be there spreading his knowledge and the first 200 attendees will receive a river birch tree donated by the Indiana State Nursery.
Allie has been organizing it all since August. She started out by going to Bob Ehle, executive director of the Cass County Solid Waste Management District. Allie said she and Ehle discussed what the county’s needs were as far as recycling and both agreed educating the public is one of the most important.
“In order to change people’s attitudes, we really just need to educate them about what they can do,” Allie said.
Allie’s mother and troop leader, Cindy Lumpkin, has been there to guide her every step of the way.
“I tried to convince her it didn’t need to be this large,” Lumpkin said with a laugh. “She’s always been a determined person. When she sets her mind to do something, it’s just best to jump on board and try to make it happen.”
Allie’s efforts have already started to garner success through a battery collection in the lobby of First Farmers Bank & Trust in Galveston. Lumpkin said they have collected about 15 gallons of batteries for recycling since last fall.
Allie has been involved with Girl Scouts since she was 4 years old.
“I really like it because you’re always learning new things with the badges and you’re getting together with your friends to learn those new things and skills and ideas,” Allie said.
Gold Award projects require Girl Scouts to come up with a unique solution to an ongoing problem. Allie said she has always been drawn to environmental issues and science, which ultimately led to the creation of the festival.
The event is 2 to 5 p.m. today at Galveston Park and Community Center, 101 Park Road, Galveston.
If you go: WHAT: Green Earth Festival WHEN: 2 to 5 p.m. today WHERE: Galveston Park and Community Center, 101 Park Road, Galveston