My Jack Linger Explorer Grant Application

Description of Activities/Anticipated Impact on the Community:

My name is Holly Wilcox. I am a Girl Scout and a rising 11th grader, and I am striving to create a positive lasting difference in my community by completing my Girl Scout Gold Award. The Gold Award is the highest award that a Girl Scout can achieve. It allows Girl Scouts to identify their core beliefs and use that to create a project that can better the lives of other people in their community.

For my Gold Award, I have devoted myself to making an impact in the issue of human trafficking and to the improvement of Franklin County, a small town in Texas that is the home to my grandparents and the Pure Hope Foundation. To support the Pure Hope Foundation and the community, I am working with the Pure Hope Foundation to create opportunities for community engagement, eco-therapy, and play therapy through the establishment of birding trails and associated interactive exhibits on Pure Hope Ranch.

The Pure Hope Foundation was formed as a 501c3 in 2015 with a vision to restore survivors of sex trafficking and strengthen families in a way that would prevent exploitation. As a second-stage program, the foundation offers survivors who have been stabilized continued healing, personal development, extended educational support, and vocational skills to help them acquire skills that will allow for healthy, independent lives. The activities in Hope Home include trauma-informed restoration programming, including multidisciplinary therapies, nutritional education, GED pursuit and training around critical job skills, College Prep, educational assistance, financial literacy/education, Bible study, and application, etc. Opportunities for survivors to connect with nature provide a key element of healing. In support of this mission, the Pure Hope Foundation recently purchased the nearly 1000 acre Selah Ranch in Franklin County, Texas. The property will host more Hope Homes and allow survivors to benefit from the healing effects of times spent out in nature, including the trails and activities that will be created as a result of my Girl Scout Gold Award.

  For my Girl Scout Gold Award project, I have committed to design a complete program of “Birding at Pure Hope Ranch,” including approximately 3 miles of trails, 18 educational graphic panels (each with an accompanying interactive element), a welcome center pergola with activities, hummingbird/butterfly garden, wildflower meadow, birding workshop curriculum, and more. All of these elements will be open to the public, supporting the Pure Hope Foundation’s commitment to community engagement and strengthening families, will benefit Franklin County’s businesses, families, and schoolchildren, as well as the broader Texas birding community, and will support Pure Hope Foundation’s work to restore survivors of sex trafficking. I have worked in close contact with the Co-Founder and CEO of the Pure Hope Foundation, Kathrine Lee, as well as the COO and Executive Director, Ryan Morris, both of whom have been enthusiastically supportive of my project and have encouraged me to think big!

The implementation of this vision, of course, requires funding. I am asking for your support of a grant that will allow me to print, ship, and install 3 educational graphic panels on quality materials suitable for outdoor display. I have been communicating with the company FossilGraphics, which produces graphic panels that have durability to look good for a decade, which corresponds to the need for the Girl Scout Gold Award to have a sustainable impact on the community.

Currently, I have planned and received approval from the Pure Hope Foundation for the locations of the trails, hummingbird garden, and welcome center. I have also designed 11 out of the 18 graphic panels, and have received funding of $500 from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to buy and plant wildflower seeds at Pure Hope Ranch. I am optimistic about receiving funding from the Saint Clair Foundation, which supports educational endeavors in Franklin County, and have also been given a grant of $500 from BF Hicks, the owner of one of the largest remaining undisturbed prairie lands, Daphne Prairie.

Anticipated Expenses:

The Girl Scout Gold Award Committee has told me that the minimum for my project to earn my Gold Award is the creation of 1 mile worth of birding trails, with 3 educational graphic panels along that trail. I am continuing to pursue a grander vision, but the cost to install these three panels is as follows:

ItemNumberUnit CostShipping Cost per UnitInstallation Cost per UnitTotal Cost
2’ by 3’ Educational Graphic Panel3$1,198.39$166.67$200.00$4,695.18

Faculty Advisor and Communication:

My school advisor, Ms. Caruso, is a science teacher and also was a Girl Scout when she was younger. She has volunteered to help me during my Girl Scout Gold Award. Her email is

I would be happy to meet with you, or put you in touch with the good people at the Pure Hope Foundation so that you could learn more about my project and the goals of Pure Hope. My email is


A visual of the locations of the three trails that I plan to build on the Pure Hope Foundation Property: the white lines are the locations of the trails, and the blue-green circles are the locations of the graphic panels. This map was taken from the Selah Ranch website, as it is home to the #1 and #2 best disc golf courses in the world. They were designed by John Houck, who has assessed and approved the locations of the trails to make sure that they did not interfere with the courses.
A close-up view that I created of the parking lot, meeting house and proposed location for the hummingbird garden and pergola. More flowers can be planted on the outside of the heart-shaped path.

This PDF contains links to all of the 11 graphic panels that I have designed so far. The images on the top right and bottom left (as well as a few images of bird eggs) were either bought from Shutterstock or used and credited from the Macaulay library, and their backgrounds were removed by me to better fit with the aesthetic of the panels. All other pictures were hand-drawn by me, then scanned into the computer and turned into a vector graphic. The blue-green colors of the panels are the colors of the Pure Hope Foundation’s logo.