Senator Carl Marcellino, who introduced the successful bill in the New York State Senate creating standards for cleaning up and redeveloping abandoned or vacant parcels known as brownfields, and Supervisor John Venditto, whose town recently received a Brownfields Opportunity Area Grant, both lauded the introduction of a new Girl Scout Patch called Brownfield Busters. The patch was developed by Sustainable Long Island to introduce girls to important environmental issues.
At a press conference unveiling the patch, Marcellino, a former teacher, told the Scouts who attended the event that when he was young "the three Rs meant reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic. Now it’s: renew, reuse and recycle. He reminded the Scouts that redeveloping unused land allowed for growth without encroaching on the little open space left in Nassau County. EPA officials and County Executive Tom Suozzi also attended the event.
Venditto noted the many brownfield sites in the Town of Oyster Bay and also spoke of the necessity of "building in" to keep existing open space open.
The program is composed of a variety of environmentally oriented activities for girls ages 5 to 17. A major component involves the girls’ finding brownfield sites in their own communities, learning how they got that way and suggesting ideas for redevelopment. Other patch activities range from brownfields word games to participating in community meetings involving development.
Donna Ceravolo, CEO and Executive Director of the Girl Scouts of Nassau County said, "We can’t think of a more creative way to engage our Girls Scouts in the concept of environmental stewardship and community planning. This patch also gives our girls the opportunity to learn the importance of advocacy in relation to environmental impact and how their personal acts can change their communities for the better."
Sustainable Long Island seeks to promote the development or revitalization of communities— with special emphasis on (use fingers so indicate 1, 2 and 3 points) environmental concerns, economic growth, and
equal social opportunities for all Long Islanders. Sustainable does this by bringing together community groups, government agencies, financial institutions, construction contractors and other private businesses and devising a plan with them, helping them finance it and then overseeing the entire project from start to finish.