Local Girl Scouts helped "Make a Difference" in Gahanna on Saturday, Oct. 23, by assisting the parks-recreation department with various projects.

Local Girl Scouts helped "Make a Difference" in Gahanna on Saturday, Oct. 23, by assisting the parks-recreation department with various projects.

Highpoint Elementary School's Troop 1913 cleaned out flowerbeds and gathered seeds at Hannah Park.

Troop co-leader Laura Whistler said the fourth-graders have participated in Make a Difference Day since they were in kindergarten.

"Last year we cleaned a park path," she said. "There's plenty of work to do. They earn a 'Make a Difference' badge."

Nine-year-old Madeline Whistler was among 12 girls from her troop who raked leaves from flowerbeds, trimmed tall grasses and gathered black-eyed Susan seeds.

Joanna Valley, 9, said the seeds are "recycled" to be planted next year.

"I like to make a difference, and it's fun, too," she said.

Troop co-leader Amy Valley said the day of volunteering has become a tradition for the 21-member troop.

Kate Moening, a leader for Lincoln Elementary School's Troop 50354, said a dozen girls and five adults painted lampposts, fencing and other structures at the Ohio Herb Education Center on Oct. 23. Their work will be showcased during the Winter Wonderland event at Creekside.

"The girls worked very hard and had a great time," said Moening, who's also marketing coordinator for the Gahanna Parks & Recreation Department. "They even volunteered to paint more on a later date."

Gahanna recreation superintendent Mike Musser said five groups were scheduled to volunteer in various capacities, including cleanups along the Big Walnut Trail behind the Gahanna Swimming Pool, Friendship Park and McKenna Creek.

In addition to the Girl Scout troops, a group of Gahanna High School students volunteered as well as a homeowners association and the Columbus Hunger Alliance.

Ten members of the AmeriCorps group with Children's Hunger Alliance each completed two hours of cleanup on the Big Walnut Trail, Musser said. Eight McKenna Creek residents spent three hours each, completing trash and brush cleanup along McKenna Creek and in their neighborhood.

A total of 59 volunteers accounted for a combined 150 hours of work completed, he said.

Members of Troop 50354 asked for and received a proclamation from Mayor Becky Stinchcomb on Oct. 4 to seek city participation in "Make a Difference Day."

Moening said this marked the fifth consecutive year the Lincoln group has visited council to seek local involvement for Make a Difference Day, a day in celebration of neighbors helping neighbors. The event, held annually on the fourth Saturday of every October, has become the nation's largest day of volunteering, according to Moening.