Prairie City Sustainable School Project

The Oregon Sustainability Board designated seven Sustainable Schools projects, including the Prairie City Sustainable School project. Prairie City School, a K-12 facility located in rural Grant County has undertaken a sustainable beautification effort in combination with a larger community revitalization effort in Prairie City.

In a rural community such as Prairie City, the local school is a large part of its identity.   In 2011, The Prairie City School served roughly 200 students in grades kindergarten through twelve.  In addition to school events, many community and regional events took place on the school sports fields. The people of Prairie City take pride in their school, but with budget cuts and local unemployment rates, many people moved away, leaving the school population smaller and with less money.   The buildings needed paint and landscaping.  The sports fields, including a baseball field, a football field and a little league baseball field suffered from a water shortage and the sand base track need repair as it had mud holes and uneven edges.

The Oregon Solutions Team worked to integrate community resources and support economic, social and environmental objectives.  The school planned to landscape its grounds using sustainable practices to help conserve water and save money. The school also planned to repaint its facility using environmentally safe products.


  • The paint committee selected Metro Paints to supply the paint, because it was available at a reduced cost because it is for a school and it is recycled paint.  The committee chose light brown for the walls and a barn red color for the trim to coordinate with the bricks.
  • The Powder River Correctional Institution in Baker City can supply 12 man work crews at a low cost for 8 hour work days.  The money for the alumni fund could pay for at least one day of this crew  and the Project members may vote to use an additional $2,000 donated by the Greater Prairie City Community Association for this paint project.
  • The Landscape committee created a map and plan for landscaping the school grounds.  A variety of trees and shrubs as well as some flowering plants were been chosen from a list provided by a local gardening club (The Green Thumb Garden Club).  By having a wide variety of plants and trees, the landscape can be used in Science classes for plant identification.  Plants will be purchased through a local nursery that has offered a discount.
  •  A grant was written to the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon in January 2005  and the money was granted in March.  These funds covered all plant costs.  Top soil was donated by the Clyde Holliday Ranch and transportation for soil was donated by local truck drivers.  This soil was shared with the Track Project.
  • In May 2005, the Prairie City High School Student Council voted to donate the money for purchasing materials to create a drip system to ensure the sustainability of the planted trees and shrubs.  The FFA and Agriculture classes participate in putting the drip system in.