Green Initiative continues quest for solar panel funding


Kate Lende

Green Initiative adviser Alecia Jongeward and team member Stella Davis hold the check for $15,000 from Sabanye Stillwater, which will help them install solar panels at Park High School, in the library on Nov. 18.

Rylee Beasley, Staff Writer

The Park High School Green Initiative has been becoming a well known team. Their current project they have been working on is getting solar panels for the high school. So far  they have a little over half the amount of money needed. The funds that have been raised are donations made by Stillwater Mines, Northwestern Energy, Montana Matriarchs, and community donations. 

“We spoke at a meeting with the Stillwater Mines and presented information to them. They donated $15,000 to the Green Team Initiative,” senior Adelle Welch said.

Northwestern Energy donated $38,000, which will go towards installing solar panels on the high school, which is projected to happen next summer.

Welch has been working with Kristen Galbraith on writing grants for the Green Initiative.

“So far we have raised about $65,000 for the project but are still needing around $51,500 for the solar panel project. And we are hoping to meet this goal by January,” faculty adviser Natalie Storey said.

Another goal they have is  making things more sustainable. They are trying to cut down on waste being produced by schools in the district. To start the process they have been encouraging more students to start recycling and not produce waste. 

Some things that they feel need to change are for people to not put trash into the recycling bins, because then they have to sort everything out. Another thing they feel needs to change is for people to not throw full cans in the recycling bins, because then they have to clean the recycling bins out.

They have noticed a bit of an increase in team members this year.

“We weren’t sure if there would be many people on the team this year because last year most team members were seniors so they graduated,” Storey said. 

At more recent meetings there have been about 30-40 people who attended.

An upcoming event is the Back Country Film Festival  on Nov. 22 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Livingston Depot.  Admission is free.

“I encourage students to attend this event.  It should be really interesting,” Storey said.