Note: While Kate and Bill Poss are on a two-month road trip, Caitlin Sullivan, a South Island high school student and Ambassador Girl Scout, installed a bench for folks to take a break and enjoy the serenity at the Earth Sanctuary. This is her story in her words. Photos by Caitlin’s mom.
My name is Caitlin Sullivan, and I am an Ambassador Girl Scout. For my Girl Scout Gold Award Project, I am creating an accessible place where people with mobility issues can feel peaceful. It is called the Peace Garden, and the opening day will be Nov. 6, 2021.  I was inspired to create the Peace Garden because many people in my community have mobility issues, including my grandparents and friends from work. I really wanted them to have a place to feel peaceful, and a place in nature to get away from the stress of daily life. This is also the first area with seating and a view of the West Pond, one of Earth Sanctuary’s three scenic ponds. 
Caitlin Sullivan, an Ambassador Girl Scout, a program for 11th and 12th graders, raised the funds and work group to install this Peace Bench at the Earth Sanctuary for her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. Photo by Caitlin’s mom

Saturday, November 6th I put up a survey box and gave tours and talked with people who came. The Girl Scout Gold Award is all about making a lasting impact on your community. I live in a community that has many retired people in it, and many of them have trouble moving around. Earth Sanctuary is a place I enjoy going to to feel peaceful and to take a break from the craziness of the world. The people in my community, many of whom are my friends, would have trouble enjoying the peacefulness of Earth Sanctuary, because there aren’t many places to sit and enjoy nature. Since Earth Sanctuary is one of my favorite places, I wanted to find a way to expand its reach to more people in my community.

I think sitting by the water is very peaceful, so I explored the undeveloped areas by the ponds and found the perfect spot, which is behind the Dolman. Chuck Pettis–Earth Sanctuary’s founder–happily became my business sponsor and his wife Claudia Pettis became my project advisor. I got donations from the community, as well as a work party made up of my Girl Scout troop and my family. Even as we were creating the space, people would come through with encouraging stories and excitement about my project. The project is now complete with the opening day being Nov. 6. I can’t wait to share it with my community.
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  1. claudia R Pettis on

    Caitlin presented on a wet and stormy day her project. It has enhanced the entire space giving everyone a place to repose and think about what they have seen. For those who cannot get through miles of Earth Sanctuary, and must only contemplate maybe what they cannot get to in this wonderland, they can sit and share with the ponds, wildlife, fish, all those beings mostly unseen the give back to every visitor. It is important to have the piece of peace. Thank you Caitlin.

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