Pine-Richland student earns Gold Award for work in Pine Community Park wetlands - PineCreek Journal

Pine-Richland student earns Gold Award for work in Pine Community Park wetlands

Monday, March 16, 2020 | 11:00 PM

Pine Community Center will be celebrating Earth Day this year with an afternoon of education and appreciation of the environment right there in the park.

The highlight of the April 18 program will be the unveiling of interpretive signs in the park wetlands created by Pine-Richland High School junior Katelyn Terchick as part of her work toward earning the Girl Scouts’ gold award.

“We had a local Girl Scout and Pine-Richland student come to us with a project idea to put up signs in the park, and we figured that we could incorporate that and Earth Day into one event with her reveal with the project,” community center program coordinator Hannah Durant said. “She did all the signs herself, all the research and got donations for the supplies she needed. The signs themselves were pretty much all Katelyn in coordination with (community center director) Joni Patsko.”

The day will include a hike to the wetlands where participants will learn about the plants and animals that live there and why wetlands are an important part of the environment.

“They’ll learn how to ID a wetland even when it’s not wet just by what’s there,” recreation support coordinator Casse Crisssaid. “And then with the park in general they’ll learn about our trail system and then we’ll do some crafts with them in the community center.”

The age range for the program activities is 5 to 12 but all are welcome to attend and all will find something to enjoy in the day, both Durant and Criss said. There will be snacks, a craft related to wildflowers and a game that will teach about recycling and composting. Daisy and Brownie Scouts will be able to earn badges for participating.

Durant said those at the community center learned something through Terchick’s work.

“When Katelyn first took me down there I had no idea why the wetlands were so important and why it’s important to preserve them,” she said. “She explained to me that the amount of oxygen they provide is really important for the ecosystems that surround the wetlands and the organisms that thrive off that environment. It’s great to have signs now to know about that area.”

The program is free but pre-registration is required and can be found at