Giving Back

Girl Scout Gold Project: Turning the Fanwood Nature Center into a Learning Center

Julia at the Nature Center with some of her signs
Brownie Troop 40091 learn about the Red -Bellied Woodpecker as they prepare to paint their bird signs. Credits: Karen Flood
Julia discussing her project with the community at the Fanwood Green Fair . Credits: John Mooney
Members of Brownie Troop 40777 work on their signs.
Members of Troop 40091 learn how to make natural bird feeders. Credits: Karen Flood

FANWOOD/SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Girl Scout Julia Guarneri is transforming the Fanwood Nature Center into a learning center with the addition of informative signs about the flora and fauna found there. She researched plants and animals native to the center and documented key facts on colorful fiberglass signs. QR codes included on the signs link to a website with additional information about habitats and ecosystems found in the center.

Julia also worked with several Brownie and Daisy troops to create weatherproof wooden bird signs to add to the bird observation area. The girls chose a bird to represent their troop and then learned fun facts for each bird. Their artwork and chosen facts can be found on these beautiful signs which will soon adorn the bird observation fence in the center. 

"My goal was to make the nature center more educational and accessible for all members of the community; especially students, nature lovers and families," Julia said. "Trees are now easily identified and hikers can obtain more information about life in the center by using their phones as they walk through. We have this wonderful green space located right in our neighborhood which can be utilized as an outdoor classroom."

Sign Up for E-News

Julia worked with the Fanwood Environmental Commission to plan out the project, specifically Gary Szelc who served as her advisor. She received donations from Target and The Home Depot. Julia is a member of Troop 40707.

The Gold Award is the highest honor in Girl Scouting. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Westfield Family Continues ‘Summer of Kindness’ with Infant Clothing Drive

July 12, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield mom and teacher Sara Liptack is continuing her family’s “Summer of Kindess” with an infant clothing for Furniture Assist, an organization in Springfield that helps formerly homeless people, veterans, the elderly, fire victims, refugees and people fleeing domestic violence.

“I said, ‘What’s the one thing you really ...

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

What Is Your Bottom Line?

This week's Parshah (Torah reading) is the Parshah of Pinchas the Zealot: the courageous young priest who stood up against idolatry and immorality and, in the end, saved Israel from a devastating plague.

While Pinchas' radical response made him a hero worthy of having a Torah section named after him, we wouldn't necessarily suggest to our children ...

Affordable Housing Hearing In Trenton Needs Your Voice

July 16, 2018

Dear Editor:

Recently Mayor Al Smith of Scotch Plains joined the chorus of ordinary suburban New Jersey voices  who are deeply concerned about NJ overdevelopment in the guise of affordable housing.  Prominent names like Asm. Jon Bramnick, Asw. Holly Schepisi and NJ101.5 radio host Bill Spadea have also expressed concern. 

Unfortunately, I ...

When to Dial 911: Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the Month

July 10, 2018

There are many times you should call 911. If you or someone around you is in true medical distress, such as experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, bleeding, possible stroke, or any other serious health issues, then 911 should be called as soon as possible. If there are wires down, fire, a crime in progress, or other dangerous conditions to people or property, call 911 ...

Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey Encourages Family Fun with Online Fishing Tournament

July 16, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ — The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) is asking families to cast their lines and reel in some quality time this summer as part of the fourth annual Don’t Get Hooked on Drugs Online NJ Family Fishing Tournament.

The competition will be held from July 27 to August 5 as a way to encourage families to enjoy a day of fishing, while giving ...