HLF Approves Grant for Girl Scott Award Project at South Higgins Lake State Park

Amelia Buckmaster, 16, of Rochester Hills, recently completed a Girl Scout Award Project at the South Higgins Lake State Park. The project, to install a ripar­ian buffer using native plants, was un­dertaken and completed on Oct. 1.

Buckmaster, a junior at Adams High School in Rochester Hills, enlisted the help of six of her classmates and 13 other volunteers to complete the project, which was funded by the Higgins Lake Foundation.

The 648-square-foot planting along the park’s shoreline was chosen due to the desire to protect the remaining trees in the area and to bring attention to this method of stabilizing shoreline, reducing runoff and filtering out contaminants.

Types of plants used in the installa­tion included New England aster, sand coreopsis, bearded foxglove, horsemint, wild bergemot, pale coneflower, hoary vervain, western sunflower, showy gold­enrod and smooth aster.

The 648 Michigan native plants used in the buffer were purchased through the Otsego Conservation District. Plants were specifically chosen for their ability to grow in the soil type along the shore­line as well as their tolerance to sun ex­posure and their general hardiness.

Buckmaster’s mother, Catherine Buckmaster, said her daughter undertook the project because “Amelia is passion­ate about the South Higgins Lake State Park and the lake that she has enjoyed for so many summers. She is hoping that the project sparks interest of lakeside property homeowners and teens work­ing on community service projects.”

She noted that a riparian buffer can prevent erosion and improve water qual­ity in the lake due to the long-rooted plants used.

AIDING THE HEALTH OF HIGGINS Seven juniors from Adams High School in Rochester Hills helped friend Amelia Buckmaster with her Girl Scout Award project to install a riparian buffer at South Higgins Lake State Park on Oct. 1. Pictured (left to right) are Olivia Siwajak, Elco Blanco, Parker Morris, Matthew Wells, Alex Land, Amelia Buckmaster and Braydan Collins (horizontal).