Members of Girl Scout Troop #2718 ended 2020 by creating a memorial to those lost to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the healthcare heroes who put themselves at risk while navigating perhaps the most challenging year of their careers.
The memorial is taking shape at Georgetown Park off South Street in downtown Leesburg. On Wednesday morning, the scouts, with the help of Leesburg Parks Manager Jon Cleaves, planted blue atlas spruce cedar in the park. Coming next week is a large boulder donated by Luck Stone to be added to the display as a bench feature. There also will be a plaque honoring those who died and served during pandemic.
The troop, comprised of high school freshmen mostly from Loudoun County High School, undertook the memorial as part of their Silver Award project. The troop split into two teams, one to focus on the tree planted on behalf of the victims and healthcare heroes, and another that focused on the plaque and boulder.
Troop leader Tara Holt credited the girls for their out-of-the-box and thoughtful idea to achieve their Silver Award, as many of their ideas pre-COVID would have involved quite a bit of face time.
“They thought that would be a good idea and a way to remember this year,” she said of the memorial.
Some of the girls have already talked about decorating the tree, which could grow to 50 feet in height, each year for the Christmas holiday, she added.
Holt credited the town’s Parks and Recreation Department and Mayor Kelly Burk, who attended the tree planting along with Councilman Ara Bagdasarian, for their assistance and support of the project.