The baby-sitters take the kids for a picnic by a brook. (Woah, do you think this is THE Stoney Brook??)
They find an injured bird, but Dawn cautions against getting too close. Kristy says, “Sometimes it’s better to let nature take its course.” And an adorable little preschool boy replies, “You mean let him die??” GEEZ, KRISTY. But instead they agree to call the parks department.
On their way to find the proper bird-authorities, Dawn stumbles upon some surveyors who plan to build a road through the woods. She goes to city hall and requests information. They give her a copy of all of the plans and permits. She promptly throws all of these papers into the trash because she figures they only gave them to her to slow her down with READING. So much for informed civic duty…oh and saving the trees. That is not a recycling bin, Dawn.
She also meets a new teenage boy (played by Zach Braff) immediately after that so Dawn has a LOT going on right now.
Dawn decides to plan a demonstration. She’s even going to make one of the kids dress up as a tree! Geez, these parents give the baby-sitters a lot of latitude with their children.
Dawn is supposed to go on a date with Zach Braff, but he comes over to pick her up and sees her picket signs…which prompts him to tell her that he supports the road and his mother is the Commissioner of the Department of Public Works.
Dawn yells. A lot. And refuses to go out with him. Even Kristy tells her that Dawn was rude…and like Kristy is THE rudest.
So Dawn goes to the hearing and tells everyone it’s wrong to cut down trees. And Zach Braff’s mom is all like um sounds like you didn’t even read the plans because we’re going to build an access road so elderly people and those who can’t trek over rocks like you and your friends can enjoy this park and also we’re building recycling facilities there so that people don’t throw their trash in the water. I guess Dawn wants to save face because she still tries to tell them they’re ruining everything, but it is just embarrassing at this point.
Afterwards, Mary-Anne tells Dawn, “You have to learn to persuade, not just scream and yell.” That’s insightful stuff, Mary-Anne!
Dawn finally does some research and with input from the club and drawing by Claudia, she creates plans for an accessible packed-dirt pathway that winds around the trees. She goes to Zach Braff with the idea. He has his mom meet them by the park, where she reviews the plans. She is impressed and agrees to take the plans back to the commission for further review.
Very Special Lesson: I think Dawn best sums this up when David asks her why she didn’t come up with the great packed-dirt road idea earlier: “Because I’m a jerk. Well, a nice jerk that just gets a little too worked up.
Also, fun fact. This is kinda based on a true story or life imates art or art imitates life or idk but here’s the park they filmed at in NJ: