Building benches for Burwell

Brooke ConnerInside 640, Our Town Kids

Georgia Smith, 13, has always had a passion for anything outdoors, so it was a no-brainer to choose something in nature for her Girl Scout Silver Award project. The Cadette knew picnic tables were needed for a community garden that a family friend had started.

Today, if you visit Burwell Community Garden, located in Oakwood-Lincoln Park, you will find two hand-made picnic tables. With the park’s mission to cultivate wholeness in the community, Georgia knew the tables would help better host community-building events.

With her father’s woodworking knowledge, they sawed, screwed, sanded and stained the benches. The Knoxville native was able to fund the project with the Joyce Maienschein Leadership Grant. The two-month project was completed in June 2019. Georgia had never built a table prior and did not anticipate the challenge of the project.

Georgia Smith poses with a new picnic bench.

The response for the finished product was very positive and made the journey worth it. The Burwell Community Garden leaders are grateful for the additional seating and work space. Georgia continues to give back by attending work days and helping plant vegetables and flowers – her favorite is the sunflower.

With her newfound knowledge and appreciation for community gardens, she plans on starting one of her own – for her Girl Scout Gold Award!

For information on becoming a Girl Scout, visit, call 1-800-474-1912, or email

Brooke Conner is social media and content coordinator for Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians.

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