Concern about the environment led a recent Clayton High School graduate to create an award-winning project for her Girl Scout Troop. CAROLINE AVERY has been awarded the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest national award that a Girl Scout Senior or Ambassador can earn, for her Driving Green campaign. Caroline, an ambassador in Troop 1418, wanted to change the driving habits of the students at the high school after noticing siblings taking separate cars and large SUVs being driven by one person and no passengers. Spurred into action, Caroline created and distributed informational brochures, as well as imparted her message through a website, daily announcements and posters. Less than 1 percent of all Girls Scouts earn the Gold Award, which recognizes a scout’s passion, commitment and determination to make positive changes in their communities.

A free concert on Art Hill in Forest Park aims to help local kids in need get ready for the next school year. The Labor of Love Music Festival takes place on Sunday, July 27, from 3 to 7 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring new school supplies to benefit KIDSMART. Featured performers include RALPH BUTLER and his band, along with several other local bands. A number of food trucks also will be on site. For more information, visit

There also will be a back-to-school drive next month at Kiener Plaza downtown. The family-friendly event on Saturday, Aug. 2, is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature music, barbecue and family art projects. Attendees are encouraged to donate backpacks, washable markers, glue sticks, erasers, pencils, pens and other items. The event is hosted by the UNITED WAY OF GREATER ST. LOUIS' Multicultural Leadership Society. 

Bring on the bacon! LN Cooks columnist CHEF JOHN JOHNSON of River City Casino & Hotel will be overseeing the creation of a bigger and better ‘Hog Log’ at the second annual BACONFEST ST. LOUIS next month. The 100-foot-long, 1,000-pound log, which consists of latticed bacon wrapped around ground Italian sausage, will be cooked in a custom-built 102-foot-long grill. It will be presented during the Baconfest festival on Saturday, Aug. 16, at Soldier’s Memorial downtown. Hog Log slices will be available for purchase, with the proceeds benefiting the USO of Missouri. Baconfest is a celebration of all things bacon, and features live music and vendors showcasing bacon-inspired bites from area restaurants.

Attention, library delinquents! You have until the end of the month to get back in the ST. LOUIS PUBLIC LIBRARY’s good graces by participating in the Food for Fines program. Now through July 31, adult patrons can pay down their library fines by donating canned goods (no glass items, please) and personal care items at any St. Louis Public Library location. For every item, $1 will be subtracted from overdue fines (a $25 limit applies). Even patrons who don’t have fines are encouraged to donate items, which will benefit ST. LOUIS AREA FOODBANK. Last year, the program resulted in distributing almost 11,000 meals to needy families.

A revised and updated second edition of the popular Finally! A Locally Produced Guidebook to St. Louis is now out. Author AMANDA DOYLE’s guide has new recommendations for off-the-beaten path attractions, as well as neighborhood sidebars and pop-culture trivia. The book is available at local bookstores.

You’ll now find venerable St. Louis florist KEN MIESNER’S in Ladue. After 40 years at Plaza Frontenac, the florist has moved to a new location in Granaway Plaza on Clayton Road in the space formerly occupied by Provence Boutique. The new space features a flower shop on one side, and antiques and home accessories on the other. The shop is open Monday through Friday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). A fall open house is planned. Stay tuned for more details!