EUGENE, Ore. — Students in the Bethel School District are going green, and this weekend they’re holding a sale to benefit the environment and their district..
Several Bethel schools have garden programs and every school in the district works hard to compost. This past summer, with support from Bethel and several community partners, a group of students at Kalapuya High School built a large green house on their campus.
“It was a really emotional kind of thing, because I’ve never been a part of something big,” said senior Genesis Ortega, one of the students who built the green house. “It made me really happy inside to be a part of something as big as this for my school.”
Nearly every student at Kalapuya works in the garden, helping grow food that goes straight into their cafeterias. A few other schools in the district also have gardening programs. Students learn the science behind gardening, the responsibility of taking care of plants, the skill of growing their own food, and the social benefits.
“Every time I talk about it, people get excited that this is happening,” said teacher Rich Dambrov. “People are just getting more and more excited as they hear about it, and they want to be a part of it.”
“This isn’t something you could do in a classroom, this is something you can learn and you can teach to other generations,” said Ortega.
Every school in the district also composts their food scraps from their lunchrooms. With the help of Rexius and the City of Eugene’s Love Food Not Waste program, those scraps have been turned into gardening compost.
This Saturday, May 10, there will be a sale at every Bethel school, featuring those bags of compost, as well as hanging plants, vegetable and plant starts, bee pollinators, and other garden items Bethel students have been preparing for months.
All the proceeds from the sale go to the Bethel Education Foundation, putting funds right back into the classroom.
“Art projects, and science equipment, music equipment, all of those things that we need so much, it’s just this full circle of support,” said Brooke Cottle, President of the Bethel Education Foundation.
The sales on Saturday run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.