Michael Gross, USFWS
Every project, no matter the scale or the impact, takes true grit and perseverance to see through. The development of a hatchery at Palisade High School (PHS) is no exception. A dedicated group of students and teachers planned and raised money to make the hatchery a reality.
Last year’s seniors: Kaleb Hawkins, Isabelle Haderlie, and Emily Tucker, raised more than $3,000 by donating scholarships they were awarded and selling peaches to help fund the project. In addition, they were instrumental in establishing relationships with many of the donors and organizations that committed to the PHS Fish Hatchery project.
This year’s seniors: Levi Van Pelt, James Soria, and Dyllon Hoaglund, played a major role in recruiting younger students to create a legacy project. They also acted as public liaisons to develop public relations and secure the additional $35,000 in funding that enabled the fish hatchery’s construction and maintenance to begin.
“This project has meant so much more to me than a simple service project,” says Van Pelt. “Through my work on the Palisade High School Fish Hatchery, I have been able to truly act in the ideals of the International Baccalaureate Program, not only working to improve my local community, but embodying the ideals of altruism while making a substantial difference in curbing global issues. This project has allowed all of us working on it to address the global issues of water scarcity, biodiversity, and the education that surrounds both of them, and make an actual impact in changing them. With a strong passion for environmental science and the goal to expand my education through collegiate studies, this project has provided me with an opportunity to make headway into something that falls in-line with what I plan to pursue as a career field, environmental studies and sustainability.”
The dedication displayed by PHS students is evidence of the collaboration and excitement that has made this project a profound success. “The passion behind this project originates with education and environmental protection. To have the ability to encompass both in a single foundation is an outstanding feat that has made me so proud to be a part of this community,” says Hoaglund. “Palisade’s academic and nurturing culture has had an amazing effect on its students, and it has been evident throughout this project.” This project is, and will continue to be, a prodigious addition to Palisade High School and the rest of the district, where environmental education will continue to thrive and develop.