One cool way to learn

Paso Robles’ Liberty High School students showed off their plant-growing skills to the public over the weekend at their native nursery open house.

In the past year, juniors and seniors at the continuation school have grown more than 6,000 plants through the help of local nonprofit group One Cool Earth. The group’s GreenWorks pilot program at the school aims to integrate workplace skills, school curriculum and hands-on learning for 60 students each year.

The nursery, located behind the high school’s softball field off Niblick Road, features drought-tolerant native trees and shrubs for sale. Fifteen to 20 students enroll in the program for six-week sessions.

Proceeds from the plant sales go back into GreenWorks for materials, a weekly stipend for students for their work in the form of gift cards to locally owned businesses and other program support.

The program was initially funded by grants from the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation and the Stewardship Council, but now it “relies entirely on plant sales to sustain itself financially,” One Cool Earth Director Greg Ellis said.

For information, visit www.onecoolearth.org.