Red are the Raspberries: A School Garden Color Hunt

In fall 2016, SAGES' Kindergarteners took their learning outdoors in search of COLORS! Teams of two were armed with an iPad to snap photos of anything they found matching their assigned color. The school garden and outdoor classroom spaces offered a rainbow of potential pictures. Then, the pictures were printed and the teams selected their favorite to write about. This video shares the story they wrote. It was modeled after the book, Red are the Apples by Marc Harshman and Cheryl Ryan. Enjoy!
SAGES' 6th graders posing in front of Waupun Piggly Wiggly with shopping carts full of plastic bags collected.


Fox Lake, Wisconsin - Sixth graders at the School for Agricultural and Environmental Studies (SAGES) are working to make big environmental changes. After reading about how plastic bags are threatening our oceans and sea life and filling our landfills, this class of 15 students was introduced to a “Plastic Bag Challenge” sponsored by Trex Company. With a desire to help animals and the environment, SAGES' sixth graders accepted the challenge and encouraged students and families school-wide to begin collecting plastic bags, films, and wrappings. In the first month of the challenge, SAGES’ collected 103 pounds! 

During this 6-month challenge, schools from across the country compete to collect the most plastic bags and other types of polyethylene for the chance to win a Trex bench for their school. The prize bench like Trex's outdoor composite decking and fencing is made by turning unwanted plastic materials such as grocery bags, bread bags, case overwrap, dry cleaning bags, newspaper sleeves, ice bags, wood pellet bags, ziploc & other re-sealable bags, produce bags, bubble wrap, salt bags, and cereal bags into a new product.

Plastics collected from all the grades, kindergarten through 8th grade, are bagged, weighed, and recorded monthly by a student team, while three other student teams were in charge of education, outreach, and communication.

The outreach team took on the task of finding a local retailer who participated in Trex's Recycling Program and would be willing to partner with the school to receive plastics collected. That meant a phone call to Waupun Piggly Wiggly's Store Owner, Marty Koehler. Along with developing a script of questions, students discussed different scenarios and phone etiquette prior to making the call. What a thrill for these 12 year-olds when Mr. Koehler agreed to collect and transport the school's plastics to his store's warehouse where they would bale the plastics and transport them to TREX.

On December 16, SAGES’ students visited the Waupun Piggly Wiggly to thank the store owners, place a plastic bag collection bin, and take a behind the scenes tour. 

SAGES’ students are hoping to involve the whole Waupun and Fox Lake community by inviting families to save their clean plastic bags. Families can drop off at SAGES Charter School, 200 Depot Street in Fox Lake or at the Waupun Piggly Wiggly store. There is a TREX box that says “Recycle Plastic BAGS and Film Here” in the front entrance.” 
In addition to learning about recycling, the “Plastic Bag Challenge” has inspired SAGES’ students to explore ways to not only recycle, but reduce the amount of plastic used in the first place. To learn more, visit the TREX website at


Here’s a short video showcasing Noel & Nellie at D&T Dairy Farm. Special thanks to Farmer Travis for sharing his dairy expertise and Cow and calf with SAGES staff and students.

School for AGricultural and Environmental Studies logo and text with red barn board background.

200 S. Depot Street | Fox Lake, WI  53933

Phone: (920) 928-3136 | FAX: (920) 928-2284


The vision of SAGES is the creation of culture that actively and thoughtfully conserves and sustains the land, flora and fauna that comprise our environment and food sources.

Our mission is to produce responsible, productive citizens who have both a local
and global perspective and are committed to preserving and sustaining national
and world environments, food sources and other natural resources.