Liberty High school students learn to live

Career Technical Education students are working on a sustainable farm, recycling materials to grow hundreds of pounds of produce.

HILLSBORO, Ore. — Liberty High School students are doing their part to make the world more sustainable. Students in career technical education programs are running an eco-friendly farm.

Many hope to carry over skills learned in high school into their future jobs.

“It’s laying the groundwork for my future career hopefully,” said senior Tayen Ledbetter.

After graduation, Ledbetter hopes to move to Washington, D.C. and push politicians to enact policies to fight climate change. 

“I think it’s something that needs to be done if we want to continue living on the Earth for a long time,” Ledbetter said.

For now, she’s planting her boots into the ground of Liberty High’s farm and selling produce. Teachers said last year, they sold $3,500 worth of produce from the farm.

“Tomatoes, peppers, flowers,” Ledbetter said. “Anything you would want in a home garden.”

While she’s busy maintaining produce, other students are building facilities to house plants in harsh conditions.

Junior Dawson Hart built mini-greenhouses to place plants. He’s also helping improve irrigation systems to use water more efficiently.

“We put in a water line for two faucets to be put out toward the middle of the field. We just recently tilled in these new crop areas,” Hard said.

Senior Javier Tobar is building sheds to store tools. Tobar aspires to be a contractor, but hopes to work sustainably. He plans to re-use materials that would generally go to landfills.

“Realistically, if you look a little bit, you’d find that all those things you’re buying, you have there,” Tobar said.

The Hillsboro School District recently invested almost $2 million through the 2017 Hillsboro School District Bond to build a solar panel canopy outside classrooms.

Teachers said electricity generated from panels will be sold back to power companies, making career and technical education classrooms more sustainable.

“I think what needs to carry over is this mentality that we’re not just doing things for ourselves,” Ledbetter said. “We’re doing things for the greater good of everybody in the planet.”

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