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Group members purchased items for holiday care packages for six senior citizens living alone. One family brought them to the Via Linda Senior Center in Scottsdale, where the packages were distributed.
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Today we visited our revegetation project from November at the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead. Everyone was pleased to see that the cacti we planted were still standing! We hiked along the trail for a mile or so, before the children became engrossed in the many beautiful quartz rocks on the ground.
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For this project, we sold Fair Trade items from WHEAT's (http://www.hungerhurts.org/) Hand to Hand project at a local farmers' market. We educated customers about Fair Trade and its benefits to the artisans and the environment. Items we sold included toys, puzzles, jewelry and decorative pillows. The pillows were especially unique, as the stories of the women, refugees from Afghanistan, who crafted them were written on one side of the pillow.
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We picked lemons, grapefruits, and oranges from the trees of a local resident. The fruit was donated to the United Food Bank (http://www.unitedfoodbank.org/) to feed the hungry. Even our youngest members were able to help by picking up fruit from the ground and carrying it to the donation bin!
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At our visit to the Phoenix Herpetological Society we saw alligators, crocodiles, monitor lizards, bearded dragons, tortoises, turtles, gila monsters and snakes, all of which had been rescued from Arizona residents who were not caring for them properly. We fed the tortoises and learned why it is important not to take exotic animals as pets. We also learned not to touch any reptiles in the wild. It was great fun and very interesting to see so many different kinds of reptiles in one place! Each family donated $3 per person plus one or more items from the organizations wish list. A journalist and a photographer from a local newspaper went on the tour with us.
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Our group took a field trip to Sioux Falls, SD on Saturday, January 17, 2007. We went to the Sertoma Butterfly House. Then, to the Wells Fargo Cinedome Theater to watch the omni theater on Dr. Goodall. We also spent time at the science museum. All stops on our field trip provided our group with a working knowledge of animals, biology and Dr. Goodall's philosophies.
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We are selling ChicoBags, which are reusable nylon shopping bags that tuck into their own self-attached pouch. We want to eliminate as much use of plastic and paper bag consumption as possible. Proceeds will go towards paying for our fifth grade environmental field trip to Pigeon Point Light House in Pescadero, California.
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We spoke to the local Boys & Girls Club's Family Resource center and identified a family that could use some extra help buying Christmas gifts for their children. We received a list of all family members with their ages, clothing sizes etc., and divided the list among the members of our Roots & Shoots group. Each of our member's families did thier own Christmas shopping for the Boys & Girls Club family and donated the wrapped items all together to brighten the family's holiday.
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Our members collected bottles and cans to recycle with the help of their families and friends. Collected items were then taken to a local recycling center, where they were deposited for a cash refund. Our goal was to raise $100 in order to adopt a chimp through the Jane Goodall Institute website. Money from recycling was collected at each meeting and saved by the group leader. Recycling was ongoing from April through the summer in 2006. In September, the group leader contacted the Jane Goodall Institute and adopted the chimp in the name of South Bay Roots & Shoots. We received our certificate, Baluku's information and additional literature a few weeks later.
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As my ongoing Roots & Shoots project for the environment, I have chosen to help care for Wildflower Nature Center to keep it beautiful and clean, so that the children and animals can enjoy being here as much as I do. Wildflower Nature Center is a place where children come to heal and grow with nature all around them. There is a pond and a stream, many trees, plants and wildflowers. The animals that live here include deer, racoons, foxes, squirrels, birds, turtles, ducks, fish, frogs, bats, dragonflies and other insects. There is also a llama named Ringo who visits often and a donkey named Kato who lives next door. Wildflower Nature Center is in the city so it is especially important that we have this space for children and animals to be in nature.

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