Students strive for sustainability at R-5 High School

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- "In nature, nothing exists alone," those words belong to Rachel Carson, widely regarded as the mother of the environmental movement.

Earth Day was originally inspired by the 'Silent Spring' author’s work. Carson’s book explored the dangers of pesticides for bird populations.

Now, a legacy of sustainable agricultural practices lives on, and takes shape this Earth Day at R-5 High School in Grand Junction. The teens are learning to grow their own food in sustainable ways, using organic farming techniques and aquaponics.

“We got the fish, their waste will help the plants grow, right now we’re growing lettuce," Maddie Lightfoot, a junior at R-5, said.

“We use next generation science standards," Science teacher Dustin Giesenhagen explained.

The programs are meant to help R-5 become a "green school," reducing waste and working to be more earth-minded.

Two 50 foot hoop houses were built on campus for that purpose, with the help of community partners, like Rick Kenagy, the Co-Owner Grow Fresh Farms 365.

"We need to learn to grow food on a personal basis, and not rely on industrial agriculture to take care of that,” said Kenagy.