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Girl Scout Stops By Trails Committee Meeting To Talk About Spotted Lanternfly

Megan Hauss, a member of Girl Scout Troop 60607, delivered her presentation about the Spotted Lanternfly to the Trails Advisory Committee on July 14.

A local Girl Scout hoping to achieve the organization’s highest honor dropped in on the Trails Advisory Committee’s July 14 meeting to talk insects.

Well, one in particular, the Spotted Lanternfly, a particularly destructive invasive species that has arborists worried. The insect, native to parts of Southern China, eats more than 70 different species of trees and plants by sucking out their sap.

Girl Scouts wishing to achieve the Gold Award must plan and deliver a large project. High school sophomore Megan Hauss, a member of Girl Scout Troop 60607, chose creating an awareness campaign about the Spotted Lanternfly as her project.

Hauss has delivered her presentation to nearly every school in the district and to other organizations. During the presentation, Hauss talks about the nature of invasive species in general, then goes into the life cycle and eating habits of the Spotted Lanternfly.

She also talks about what to do if you see an egg patch on a tree. (You scrape them off and squish them.)

“See it, stomp it,” is one of the campaign’s slogans, she said.

The fly is so destructive that it costs the Pennsylvania economy more than $500,000 each year, she said.

In addition to her presentation, Hauss also distributes fliers about the danger posed by the Spotted Lanternfly prepared by the state Department of Agriculture. She said she has worked with Tara Kenyon, the township’s open space consultant, and members of the trails committee to place the fliers at kiosks along the township’s many trails.

A special QR code leads to a web-hosted version of her presentation, she said.

To qualify for the Gold Award, a Girl Scout’s project mus be sustainable, and somethinhg that helps people or the environment, Hauss said.

“You’re making a difference in the world,” she said.

She said her goal was to give her presentation in five schools and put the fliers in a certain number of trail kiosks.

“I exceeded all of my goals,” she said.

Hauss’ next step is to finish a report on her project and submit it to a review committee, which will then tell her if she’s reached the gold standard.

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