Local high school launches schoolwide sustainability project

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno charter school is taking action to encourage sustainability among its students.

Big Picture High School teacher Nate Shankles says it all started with a summer project.

"Get the kids working together on something useful and real-world oriented," said Big Picture High School Teacher Nate Shankles. "That's something we focus on here at our school."

Motivated to go green, the students wanted to start a school-wide sustainability project but didn't have the funding to make it happen, so they got to work.

"We didn't have any money when we started and now the kids applied for grants and got $7,000, that's huge," said Shankles.

Thanks to several grants from the Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District, the students are making their dream a reality with several sustainability projects across campus.

"I wasn't into it at first because getting my clothes dirty, but then I started thinking about it like this is good," said student Jermiah Saenz Hernandez. "We're helping, we're doing as much as we can for our school and our community."

The students meet twice a week and have started a compost pile, rainwater harvesting project and a school-wide recycling program.

"To take what we already have - leftover fruits and veggies - why not take them and use them to do something valuable," said Shankle.

Learning about a sustainable lifestyle and forming friendships in the process.

"We've all formed a strong bond," added Saenz Hernandez. "Working with them in the classroom, like the compost, showed me that we can help each other around here."
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