Park High School to unveil solar panels at Friday event

By 
Scott Shindledecker Enterprise Staff Writer
Thursday, April 21, 2022
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High school students participated in the Park County High School Green Initiative’s art and trashion show Wednesday at the Lincoln School. From left, are Athalia Windham, Stella Davis, Ethan Coleman, Georgia Robertson, Scarlett Welch, Severn Sienkiewicz, Remy Sexton and Silas Hjortsberg. Photo courtesy Karrie Kahle

Members of Park High School’s Green Initiative have been busy celebrating Earth Week and it will culminate Friday on Earth Day with the unveiling of the school’s new solar panels.

The Green Initiative was born in 2017 when Dana Baskett, who graduated in 2019, and some classmates who were concerned with the lack of recycling among the student population.

The group donned purple gloves, started sorting through school trash and collecting recyclable materials. Two years later, the initiative grew rapidly and began raising money for solar panels to help power the high school’s Rec Plex.

Park High students Stella Davis and Athalia Windham have spearheaded this week’s Green Initiative events, including Wednesday evening’s art and trashion show at the Lincoln School.

Windham, a Livingston native and a member of the junior class, said her stylish outfit was made of repurposed items from a thrift store.

“I feel fashion can be a way to recycle and it’s great to see so many community members who really care about the environment,” Windham said.

An outfit created by Educatio student Maggie Taylor and modeled by Park High student Scarlett Welch earned top honors in the trashion show. Welch received a trophy made by Morgan Sites. Sites made the trophy by welding recyclable materials.

Davis is a senior at Park High and she can’t wait for the unveiling of the new solar panels.

“It began with students who have graduated and we’re excited to have kept the effort going to bring solar power to the school,” Davis said. “We’ve learned how to write grants to help with the fundraising, which is a valuable skill.”

The initiative’s week of events included a service day where students performed community improvement projects and a film festival. One of the films students watched was “To Which We Belong.” It is about sustainable agriculture and includes the Barney Creek Livestock’s Jordan Ranch, which is run by the Lannan family in Paradise Valley.

Today, the group hosted an educational workshop at the high school. It is run by experts who work at various levels of the food cycle about sustainable food growth, consumption and waste.

Alecia Jongeward, the Green Initiative’s faculty advisor and a biology teacher at the high school, couldn’t be more pleased with the student’s efforts to create a more sustainable school.

“They learned how to write grants to raise money for the solar panels and we’ve had wonderful support from the community,” Jongeward said. “We’ve invited our donors for the ribbon cutting and it’s really going to be a special event.”

Friday’s Earth Day celebration is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.

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