For the first time, the Weather Discovery Center is pleased to offer the Boy Scout Gardening Merit Badge. The program will be in two parts, with the first half taking place on Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. – noon and the second half on Saturday, August 3 from 10 a.m. – noon.

During the first session, Scouts will discuss the hazards associated with gardening and how to deal with any health concerns. The Scouts will plant vegetable and flowers seeds which they will take home to nurture. To learn about germination, the Scouts will test seeds and discuss what factors help or hurt the process.

Bees are a vital part of the growing process, so the Scouts will learn the role bees play in pollination. Finally, the Scouts will learn how to build a compost bin using what they learn to build one at home.

While there are no prerequisites for the first session, the Scouts will have some tasks to do for the second session of the Gardening Merit Badge on Saturday, August 3:
1. Nurture the vegetable and flower seeds that were planted. Take pictures to show and report your results.
2. Build a compost bin and maintain it for 90 days. Show pictures and give a report.
3. Research the nutritional value of: 3 root or tuber crops, 3 vegetables that bear above ground, three fruits. Give a report.

In addition to the Scouts reporting on their gardening activities at the August 3 session, we are coordinating with the Jefferson County Extension Office to have the master gardener on hand to discuss gardens and extension services.

The cost for the two sessions of the Gardening Merit Badge is $20 per Scout. Both sessions include a snack and free time on the exhibits. Register for both sessions no later than May 6 to 814-938-1000 or to

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