Girl Scouts launch Adopt-A-Trail program for Paint Creek Trail

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published April 19, 2017

ROCHESTER/ROCHESTER HILLS/OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — The hundreds of thousands of people who walk, run and ride their bikes along the Paint Creek Trail each year will soon notice a cleaner path.

Three Girl Scouts — Taylor Brooks, Chrissie Stephens and Gabriella Thomas — from Troop 43155 at Van Hoosen Middle School recently developed a new Adopt-A-Trail program.

“We chose the Paint Creek Trail because we felt it was used greatly in our community, and we wanted to help add more to the trail,” Taylor Brooks said in a statement.

Working under the guidance of the Paint Creek Trailways Commission, the girls raised close to $600 to launch the program, which allows individuals, groups or businesses to adopt a section of the trail for two years. Under the program, those who adopt a section must commit to clean it up in April and October, in return for a sign of recognition being posted in their designated portion of the trail. There is no financial cost to adopt a section of the trail at this time.

Trail Manager Kristen Myers said she was very excited to work with the girls on the project, adding that they did a fantastic job researching, planning and implementing the program.

“The Paint Creek Trail is a very popular recreation resource, and this type of program will help keep it beautiful for all users,” she said in a statement.

The program will kick off on Earth Day, from 9 to 10 a.m. April 22, with the first cleanup day. Four cleanup groups will meet at the Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Road in Oakland Township, and will then head to their adopted section of the trail. The sections that are part of the pilot program include the Paint Creek Trail from Rochester Municipal Park to Tienken in Rochester, Tienken to Dutton in Rochester Hills, Silver Bell to Gunn Road in Oakland Township, and Clarkston/Kern Road to Atwater Street in Orion Township and Lake Orion.

For developing the program, the girls will earn the Girl Scouts Silver Award, the highest award a middle school-age Girl Scout can earn.

“It’s hard for kids this age to stick with something for so long. They have been doing this for about eight months, and it’s not instant gratification. But they persevered and they did a great job,” Troop Leader Kelly Brooks said.

As part of the process, the girls had to work for over 50 hours on the project.

“It takes girls who have commitment and courage to accomplish the Silver Award. I am proud of myself and fellow Girl Scouts,” Thomas said in a statement. 

Moving forward, the Adopt-A-Trail program will be managed by the Paint Creek Trailways Commission.

“One of the goals of the Girl Scouts Silver Award is for girls to make a lasting difference in their community, so it was important that the girls consider the sustainability of their project from the start,” Brooks explained.

Those who are interested in adopting a section of the Paint Creek Trail, or being added to a waiting list, can visit paintcreektrail.org/wordpress/adopt-a-trail or contact Trail Manager Kristen Myers at manager@paintcreektrail.org.