The phrase “Recycling makes other things into things,” describes the goal behind a recent generous gift from Logsdon Farmhouse Ales to the Washougal School District’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) Department.  Four wooden barrels that have lived out their useful life for fermenting beverages were delivered by Derek Rivilo from Logsdon to the open arms of Brent Mansell, WHS CTE Woods Technology teacher on March 2.

This gift brings WHS a step closer to completing work to earn the new Washington State EarthGen At-Home Certification by promoting student ecology education and participation in projects to increase the school’s sustainability.  “This project is another example of how creative approaches to teaching and new opportunities for students have continued during distance learning,” said Alexandra Yost, CTE Pro Tech who is coordinating the EarthGen certification efforts.

As high school students make their way back into the classroom and the woodshop, Mansell has been researching various projects to create lasting and meaningful “upcycled” pieces from the barrel materials. “I’ve seen ideas for cool furniture like Adirondack chairs, tables and shelves that my advanced students could create,” he said.

One of the first projects, however, will be building planter boxes which also serve as another project step toward certification.  “We will have students use the planters to create container gardens,” said Yost. “Our plan is for students to collect data on the contents of each container to input into a Carbon Calculator Tool to measure the impact on the environment.” Certification projects must demonstrate a lasting impact on students so there is also discussion around placing some of the containers at various Washougal schools’ courtyards to be managed by students, which will also help beautify the area.

“We see a lot of paying forward with these types of barrels,” explained Rivilo. “They often are sent on to different uses once they have been through their useful life in a specific process. It is important to us that they have a true purpose and a new purpose one last time.”  Logsdon has as many as 20 surplus barrels to donate to WHS from their storage on Mt. Hood.

“We are very grateful for the gift of these barrels from Logsdon,” said Mansell.  “I am looking forward to seeing what our students create from them!”