Linganore High School Senior Abigail Beckman recently earned her Gold Award by creating monofilament recycling containers for Prospect Park in Mount Airy after seeing the effect that improperly discarded fishing line was having on wildlife.
Abigail has been fishing with her dad and grandfather since the third grade. “It’s just an activity that I can relax while doing to escape my worries and anxieties momentarily,” she said.
However, Abigail could not fully relax knowing the effect that improperly discarded fishing line was having on wildlife.
“I have always enjoyed fishing,” she said, “but one of the main problems that I’ve seen at almost every lake, pond, body of water that I’ve visited, is fishing line, [discarded] where animals can get injured by it.”
Although Abigail’s focus was on freshwater fish, birds and turtles, she also educates people on the broader scope of the effect that fishing line has on seals, dolphins, sea turtles and whales. As she notes on her website, monofilament fishing line takes 500 years to decompose. With the principles of “Leave No Trace” in mind, Abigail reminds people not to leave their fishing line behind. She advises that those who do not have a proper recycling container for their line should cut the line into 6-inch lengths before disposing of it.
Collected monofilament fishing line is mailed to a company to be recycled into fish habitats, tackle boxes and various other items.
Abigail’s project took nearly 90 hours to complete: preparing and constructing the monofilament recycling containers, educating the community, and creating a website that includes a video detailing how you can create your own recycling container, at Fishinglinerecycling.weebly.com.
In addition to the container at Prospect Park, Abigail has completed construction of two other containers for placement in Frederick County.
Abigail is a Lifetime Member of Girl Scouts and is a semi-finalist for the 2021 Gold Award Scholarship. She plans to attend Virginia Tech as an animal science major with a minor in dairy science on a pre-veterinary track.
“I’ve enjoyed my Girl Scout years and am looking forward to transitioning to an adult role with my lifetime membership,” she said.
The Mount Airy Kiwanis Club, the 37-08 Service Unit, and Lowe’s all contributed to the monofilament recycling containers project.