POLSON — Polson Middle School won a SMART school grant from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality for the third year in a row.
Teacher Amy Williams says that this year they focused on one particular challenge that will benefit the school.
"This year we ended up participating in the repurposing challenge, while reducing, repurposing, and reusing. We are just trying to challenge ourselves each year to do something different and something new to keep kids engaged, but also connecting with our environment in the world around us and how we can kind of save some resources and not be so wasteful in our school," said Williams.
Williams says this year they focused on repurposing paper, and even cardboard, for the school's garden. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the program was able to create solar cookers, plant indigenous plants, used computer packaging for seedling trays, and made new paper.
The students say that being hands-on during these programs really inspired them to make their own gardens and even focus on recycling in the future.
"I like gardening and helping out because it helps the environment and I like growing foods, strawberries,” said Tayven Larson, an incoming freshman at Polson High School.
“And it's like fresh food, and it's not food that you do not know where it has been or what has been on it, and you can grow it by yourself,” said Arlonna Christopher, a 7th-grader at Polson Middle School.
Polson Middle School was also awarded $2,000 that Williams hopes to use to build an outdoor classroom.