ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A gardening event took place Saturday. Students at Robert F Kennedy had the opportunity to use special gardening tools.

During the event, students used shovels made from dismantled guns.

The occasion honored lives lost to gun violence in New Mexico, and it also helps students get involved in the community.

“It’s giving our students an experience. Something for them to look forward to, to give back to their community, and to really keep themselves safe and occupied and engage in learning with different skills that one day that will help them as they continue to get older,” said Robert F Kennedy Charter School Principal Aaron Arellano. 

The idea behind changing firearms into shovels began in 2006 when Mexican artist Pedro Reyes turned 1,527 guns into shovels.

“It’s like the idea if we can take an object that kills and turn it into an object that sustains life, it sends a very powerful message to people about non-violence and preventing gun violence,” said New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence Co-President Miranda Viscoli.

The guns were turned in through a community buyback event. Once they get the guns, they create tools and art.