A year’s worth of planning, designing, physical work, and community involvement came to fruition on September 27th when a ribbon was cut on the newly refurbished Hanging Garden trail near the Glen Canyon Dam.
This was the project for 16-year-old Girl Scout Diana Greymountain’s Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can achieve. Last October, Diana and her family tried to walk the trail and got hopelessly lost, wandering across the landscape until they finally found the Hanging Garden. On their way back, they encountered a German couple who were also lost, and Diana guided them to the Hanging Garden. This was the impetus that led her to refurbish the trail, create a wayside sign for the trailhead, and write a trail guide about the plants and animals of the trail.
On the last weekend of April, over 30 volunteers joined Diana to line the trail with river rocks. Nine tons of these rocks were provided by the park. The volunteers lined the mile-long trail route safely and without disturbing the landscape, collectively donating 128 hours of their time.
News of Diana’s service to the park ran through the ranks of the Girl Scout community all the way up to the top, and on Memorial Day weekend Diana and her family were invited to Washington, DC, to attend the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award ceremony at the White House for Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts. There she met President Obama. Media interest in her story was high.
Throughout the summer Diana researched and designed a wayside exhibit to be placed at the Hanging Garden trailhead and a trail guide to be used by all visitors pointing out the common plants and animals of the area. The park provided the frame for the wayside, and, through donations, Diana was able to get the sign fabricated.
At the ribbon-cutting, Superintendent Todd Brindle thanked Diana and her support group for her efforts and for the beautiful trail. Diana cut the golden ribbon across the trail entrance and led the group of community and family members who had gathered for the ceremony down to Hanging Garden, where she told everyone about the things she had learned about the cultural and natural history of the area.
Diana is the first Navajo young lady to earn the Girl Scout Gold Award in the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council.