During her senior year, Bryton Dybowski received her Girl Scouts Gold Award for creating an outdoor haven for the students at Francis S. Grandinetti Elementary School.
Dybowski is the daughter of Steve and Luann Dybowski of Ridgway and the granddaughter of Alan and Gloria Chileski of Ridgway.
Earning her Gold Award, Dybowski has followed in the footsteps of her mother, who also received her Gold Award.
"My mom got her Gold Award when she was younger," Dybowski said. "She pushed me to do these things and I wanted to follow what she did."
Dybowski’s Gold Award was an afterthought for her. She wanted to give back to the community first and foremost.
"I wanted to do something for the community," Dybowski said. "I figured wildlife, insects and bugs are a big part of the elementary school, and they didn’t really have a place for it.
"They have butterfly boxes in their rooms but no place for it. So I wanted to create a space for them to go and learn."
Dybowski, along with the help from a family friend, Gloria Horning, strategically designed and planned the garden. Once the garden’s plans were in place, Dybowski said she was given many donations of plants and time.
"All of the plants, soil, gravel, that was all donated," Dybowski said. "We didn’t have to fundraise because everyone that came to help would use their own tools or donate parts of plants that were overgrown at their homes.”
The garden initiative offers more long-term than earning a reward and giving back to the community. Dybowski said she feels she has set an example for the students at FSG to hopefully take part in the community themselves.
"I think I am setting an example for the kids," she said. "For them to go out and help their community because they saw how the garden helped them and hopefully they realize how much help someone can be if they do something."
Pick up a copy of the Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.