Teri Vance: Teen seeks to improve Carson City park | NevadaAppeal.com

Teri Vance: Teen seeks to improve Carson City park

Gillian Mandel, 16, often takes her dog for a walk on the Linear Park Trail that runs alongside Fremont Elementary School.

She finds it a good place to connect with nature and get in some exercise. But she also sees its shortcomings.

“I see a lot of people using it, but it’s not very well taken care of,” she said. “I want to make it a more friendly place for people to take their dogs for walks, get out of the house and just live their lives.”

For her Gold Award project as part of the Girl Scouts, she plans to make improvements to the park and to clean it up.

Her plans include to erect raptor poles, add a garbage bin and place a new bench along the pathway.

In order to that, she will need help from the community to purchase materials. She has already received $250 from Muscle Powered, but needs to raise about $3,000 to complete her project. Any excess donations, she said, will be given to the Carson City Parks Department to improve community parks.

Gillian, who will be a junior at Carson High School next year, has been involved in the Girl Scouts of America for about 10 years. She said it has taught her communication skills, business skills and how to work with others in a group setting.

In order to make the improvements to the park, she had to go through the permitting process from the Carson City Parks and Recreation Department and approval through the Girl Scouts of America.

The Gold Award, like the Eagle Award in Boy Scouts, is the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn.

“It’s really good,” she explained. “The Gold Award looks really good on college applications. Plus, if I do really well on the project, I could get a scholarship from the Girls Scouts.”

Additionally, she said, her project will help to improve the quality of life of those who value outdoor spaces in Carson City.

“They will get to enjoy the Linear Park, and they get to admire the beauty of Carson City,” she said.

“They can get out, sit, enjoy the sunset and talk to their friends. To me, it’s a beautiful place. We can help the city better.”

After the additions are completed, Gillian will host a community cleanup effort Sept. 30.

Anyone who wishes to donate may do so at the Bank of the West to the Gold Award account.

For questions or to donate materials, call Gillian at 775-315-2904.

Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at terivance@rocketmail.com.