• Outdoors Outdoors

Girl Scout's protest protects forest from potential development: 'Your voice is really powerful'

"If you keep going and you keep persisting … that can make a big difference."

"If you keep going and you keep persisting … that can make a big difference."

Photo Credit: iStock

The determination of a 15-year-old Girl Scout, Nethra Purushothaman, has saved a forest in Maryland from potential development. Purushothaman has been fighting for the forest for over a year.

The conservation effort began when Purushothaman heard of her local Girl Scouts council's plans to sell off a vast expanse of the forest to developers. Disturbed by the prospect of losing this natural treasure to deforestation, Purushothaman and three other members of Troop 153 in Fairfax County initiated an online petition, which gained over 3,500 signatures.

The collective voice of these young activists did not go unheard. In a recent announcement, Girl Scouts Nation's Capital shared that the hundreds of acres of forest were sold to a conservation group. The Marlton forest will now be integrated into Charles Branch Stream Valley Park, ensuring its preservation for generations to come. The financial proceeds from the sale will be reinvested into outdoor programs and resources tailored for girls in the region.

Purushothaman demonstrated great environmental advocacy and community empowerment. Reflecting on their accomplishment, Purushothaman emphasized the significance of raising one's voice and taking action, underscoring the transformative power of grassroots activism.

"It is possible when you use your voice and speak up, and maybe do something a little different, that the decision-makers will listen," she said

The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission underscored the ecological significance of preserving the Marlton forest. By acquiring the land, the commission aims to protect critical wildlife habitats and facilitate the restoration of ecosystems.

Purushothaman and her peers stand as beacons of hope, inspiring individuals of all ages to advocate for causes they hold dear. Their triumph serves as a poignant reminder that collective action, fueled by unwavering determination, can indeed shape a brighter future for our planet and its inhabitants.

As Sienna McIntyre, one of Purushothaman's fellow activists, poignantly remarked, "Your voice is really powerful even when you think they won't listen. If you keep going and you keep persisting … that can make a big difference."

Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider