ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Girl Scout Troop 4638 in Avalon Park is transforming an unkempt garden and transforming it into a community space to honor past and current service members.
"We all care and we're all thinking about who served, who couldn't make it back," Cadette Girl Scout Victoria White said.
For the past two years, the eighth-graders worked to clean up the overgrown and uncared for garden behind Avalon Church.
"You just saw trash, there were plants dying and mulch was everywhere. It needed a cleanup because it looked so bad," Cadette Girl Scout Savannah Calhoun said.
The troop spent several weekends turning the garden into a peaceful sanctuary. The girls worked on the garden as part of their Silver Award project, which is the highest award a Cadette Girl Scout can earn.
The troop and their families got results by working with community members to pick up trash, lay mulch and plant new plants.
The troop raised $7,000 to transform the garden. The girls sold personalized pavers to create a walkway in the garden. Each brick thanks veterans or remembers a loved one who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Troop 4368 is partnering with Avalon Park American Legion Post 409. The troop is dedicating the garden Memorial Day and then the local American Legion Post will maintain the garden, which will be a new space where the community can come and reflect.
Post Commander Anthony Mathis said the troop did a great job transforming the garden.
"It's actually great to see young people that are willing to think about veterans and do the things that these young ladies have done for this park and the community," Mathis said.
The girls are leaving a lasting mark and making sure our history is not forgotten.
"My biggest dream is that everyone would want to come here and little kids and older people, everyone would want to come here and just sit and enjoy the peace and quiet and enjoy the meaning that we have behind it," White said.
Troop 4638 is dedicating the Veteran's Memorial Garden at 9 a.m. Monday. It's located behind Avalon Church at 13460 Tanja King Blvd.