Bastrop High School students are participating in the Louisiana Green Schools Challenge by working to design and build an eco-garden on campus.

The Louisiana Green Schools Challenge was created by the U.S. Green Building Council Louisiana Chapter in an attempt to challenge students in schools across the state to go green. Their mission is to educate those students about the benefits of green building and environmental stewardship by participation in hands-on, experiential projects. The program currently has 40 schools working to complete a project.

Bastrop High got involved when superintendent Dr. George Noflin Jr. and principal David Nordman decided they would like to see their students making a positive difference at the school.

Each school has a Green Team comprised of a student club, a classroom, a grade level or even the entire school. The team is lead by a project coordinator. Bastrop High's project coordinators are Jobs for America's Graduates supervisors Larry Green and Maurice Crowder. Leaders from their JAG program were chosen to be a part of the school's first Green Team and for their student led project they chose to create an eco-garden.

"Basically, what it is is trying to improve the school's environmental impact without costing a lot of money," Crowder said. "It's also to try and improve people's mindset, even the teachers. So that when they see an empty bottle, they don't just think to chunk it."

According to Green, projected plans are for the students to design and construct the school's first eco-garden to have a patio, seating, art mural, water harvesting, full blown vegetation and a green house.

"Our goal is to teach the students the importance of recycling and taking care of the environment," Green said.

Right now, the students are working on designing the layout of the garden in the space they have assigned for it.

"I really enjoy it," student and Green Team member Brushana Montgomery said. "It's very fun. It's also a great way to be creative and show-off your art ability."

"It's going to make a lot of difference with our school," student and Green Team member Brittany Evans said. "It's going to be here forever and everybody's going to get to see it."