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ACUA to host 100 area Girl Scouts on Saturday, March 31st

On Saturday March 31st, the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) will host Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts from the South and Central NJ Girl Scout Council.  This “ACUA Environment Day” will fulfill many of the badge requisites for the Girl Scouts participating.  The scouts will be learning about the ACUA’s renewable energy projects and touring solid waste and wastewater facilities in Egg Harbor Township and Atlantic City. This is the second year that the ACUA has hosted Girl Scout Day.

“ACUA is pleased to host these scouts from southern and central New Jersey,” said ACUA President Rick Dovey. “Visiting the ACUA and learning about renewable energy will provide the scouts with a perspective on what’s happening in the field now and in the future. There are a lot of opportunities for young people to get involved and to make a difference, whether through environmental studies, green careers or simply through everyday actions like recycling, conserving energy, water conservation and reducing waste,” Dovey added.

The day will start off with a presentation by Mary Lenahan, affectionately known as “Monarch Mary”. Mary will be talking to the scouts about butterflies with a focus on monarch butterflies.  She infuses her talk with her experiences studying monarchs in their wintering habitat in Mexico, (a trip funded by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation). The scouts will learn all about the life stages of butterflies and find out how they can help the monarch butterflies, specifically, by providing habitat and thus aiding them in their migration to Mexico. Severe weather in recent years has had a devastating effect on the Monarch populations worldwide and as recently as two years ago, populations were down more than 50 percent.

Mary also raises monarchs in her classroom and has been a teacher in the Pleasantville School District for 22 years; presently she teaches 4th Grade at the Leeds Ave. School and monitors the school’s environmental club.  As a teacher in an urban district, she has as a goal to connect her students with the natural world.  This includes raising monarch butterflies, dragonflies and ladybugs and utilizing the environment as an outside classroom with wildlife habitat gardens and nature walks. Besides being an award winning educator, having been awarded the teacher of the year distinction in her school and district in 2009, 2010, Mary is a Volunteer Master Naturalist and Certified Interpretive Guide for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and is an Edwin B. Forsythe Wildlife Refuge volunteer.

Following the presentation, the Junior and Cadette Girl Scouts will tour the ACUA’s Environmental Park and Wastewater Treatment Facility in Atlantic City. For more information, please contact the ACUA at 609-272-6950 or go to

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