By Brittany Hall-Scharf
To complement the new Bayport/Linda Pedersen Paddling Trail, Cadettes of Girl Scout Troop 317 created two educational signs that feature trail sights along the way. These signs were a product of the girls’ Silver Award project – an award that challenges middle-school level Girl Scouts to make a difference in their community while developing leadership skills along the way.
Girl Scout Cadettes Shyanne Beadling, Emily Bladgett, Serenity Meads, and Brooke Starz began their Silver Award journey back in September of 2016. Their team had a passion for the environment and wanted to participate in an educational project within their community.
After meeting with Brittany Hall-Scharf, Florida Sea Grant Agent with UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County, the girls decided to construct educational signs for the new Bayport/Linda Pedersen Paddling Trail. They immediately began researching what makes Florida’s Adventure Coast beautiful and used these components to create a life-size template.
Once approved by the paddling trail committee, the girls transferred the template to the boards and put their artistic skills to work. Each sign was drawn and hand-painted by the girls.
Shyanne, Emily, Serenity, and Brooke collectively dedicated 200+ hours on planning, designing, and completing the paddling trail signs for Hernando County. Their signs will be viewable at the paddling launches of Bayport and Linda Pedersen Parks by mid-March. The girls will be recognized for their hard work during the March 14, 2017 Board of County Commission meeting.
Brittany Hall-Scharf is Hernando County’s new Florida Sea Grant Agent with the UF/IFAS Extension Office. Within her new role, Hall-Scharf will be working on many coastal and marine programs to address issues related to fisheries, coastal habitats, water quality and sustainable economic resource activities. Hall-Scharf was a former fisheries biologist for the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and an adjunct professor for the University of Tampa. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science from Florida State University, a Marine Science Certificate from Florida State University and a Master of Science in Biological Oceanography from the University of South Florida.