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Girl Scout Earns Highest Award

Emily Heymann with one of her informative greenway signs.

As you wander along the Roanoke River Greenway in Salem, you can read interpretive signs about geology, storm-water runoff, plastics, Totera Town and Paleo-Indians.  The signs are compliments of 18-year-old Emily Heymann, who worked with Salem’s Planning and Development department and the Greenway Commission to design and install five such signs.  In doing so, Emily has earned the Gold Award, the highest achievement given by Girl Scouts of the USA.  Emily received her award through Girl Scouts of Virginia Skyline Council.

 Achieving the Gold Award takes true commitment and dedication.  After completing a series of required awards, Emily had to spend a minimum of 65 hours on a service project that benefits her community.

When Emily learned the Greenway needed to install some signs along the river and in Rotary Park, she thought it would be wonderful to tell people about the natural and human history of their surroundings, their impact on history, and facts about plastics.  She went to the Salem Museum to learn about the Totera Indians and the 10,000 years of area history.  She also went to the Virginia Room of the Roanoke main library to find geological maps and history about Salem.  The Clean Valley Council and the Environmental Protection Agency provided the data about storm-water runoff.  The book Plastic:  A Toxic Love Story provided the necessary information about plastic.

 Three of the signs went into existing kiosks.  Emily and her dad built the frames and mounts for the remaining two.

Emily, the daughter of Lori and Paul Heymann, graduated from Patrick Henry High School and is attending the University of Virginia.   Her troop leader was her mother.  Her project advisor was Nell Boyle.

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