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Sustainability and Campus Farm Initiatives

Committed to environmental education

Sayre School strives to instill in our students a commitment to sustainability through engagement in unique programs and intentional initiatives both on campus and in the broader community.  We are dedicated to fostering a community committed to sustainability and environmental stewardship through teaching and policies that promote energy efficiency, resource conservation, and ecological integrity.  All three divisions participate in a variety of activities throughout the year such as tending to the Campus Farm and engaging in several community partnerships including Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council (BYSC).  


  • Solar panel installations: 30 solar panels were installed at the Upper School in the fall of 2019 and 90 solar panels were installed at the Lower School in the Spring of 2020. The panels on campus have prevented the release of nearly 20 tons of carbon dioxide so far. (As of March 2022. 1MW = 1000kw. 1kw = 0.85lbs of carbon dioxide on average when generated from fossil fuels)
  • Halogen lights in the gym and all exit signs in all buildings have been replaced with energy efficient LEDs
  • A vending miser was installed in the gym drink machine to reduce energy consumption.  
  • Recycling bins are available across many parts of campus, with recycling of batteries, metal, and electronics also available. In partnership with TerraCycle, recycling of disposable masks, gloves, and office supplies is also available.
  • Compost containers exist outside the Upper and Middle School buildings.  
  • Bike racks on campus encourage sustainable methods of transportation.
  • A storm drain mitigation system was installed at the SAC to reduce erosion and improve water quality in the nearby creek
  • A rain garden behind the Parker House made of native plants diverts water from the street, reducing flooding in neighborhood basements
  • Native plant installations on campus (in the wildlife garden at the LS, around  the MS, and library) support local pollinators 
  • By providing water containers for refilling student water bottles, the use of disposable water bottles has also been reduced. Water bottle refill stations are available on campus as well, provided for by a partnership between BYSC and Kentucky American Water.
  • In the Buttery:
    • Highbridge Spring inverted water cooler stations reduce the need for disposable water bottles and support a local company.
    • Local food products are offered and efforts are made to reduce the need for disposable packaging whenever possible.
  • Many environmental activities occur during the month of April, specifically during the week leading up to Earth Day.  In the past, these activities have included Zero Trash Day, Zero Food Waste Day, and black-out periods with limited energy use. 


The Campus Farm at Sayre is an enterprise involving Lower and Middle School students.  Students construct, fill, and maintain raised beds on several different sites around campus.  At the Lower School, the little gardeners grow cut flowers and cool weather crops for sale.  The Middle Schoolers raise peppers from seed and then use the harvests to make pepper jellies and canned peppers.  A portion of the harvests, from both the Lower and Middle Schools, are used in Buttery lunches.  Additionally, the students maintain two separate native gardens and a wildlife garden to support pollinator species and control rainwater run-off.

Campus Farm Pepper Collage

One of many added values of a Sayre education is its city location, and curricular ties to downtown are abundant. Sayre’s faculty likes to think of the downtown as an extension of our campus. I like to think of The Sayre Athletic Complex and Sayre Farm as our second campus – a place where generations of Sayre students will not only compete in their favorite sports, but also study science and agriculture and economics, and come to a deeper understanding of the globe and our collective mandate to make it a better place to live.

Stephen Manella, Head of School