Bryan Station High School (Fayette County) is among 27 schools, three early learning centers, five districts and five postsecondary institutions being honored for their innovative efforts to reduce their environmental impact and utility costs, improve health and wellness, and ensure effective sustainability education.
The Lexington high school joins West Kentucky Community and Technical College in Paducah as Kentucky’s winners of a 2021 U.S. Department of Education (USED) Green Ribbon School Award. Bryan Station is the first traditional high school in Fayette County Public Schools to earn this award.
Those selected exemplify three main pillars:
- Reduce environmental impact and costs;
- Improve the health and wellness of schools, students and staff; and
- Provide effective environmental and sustainability education.
“The USED Green Ribbon Schools Award is a prestigious honor that recognizes a school’s dedication to its community and sustainability practices, as well as to offering a healthy, safe and efficient school environments,” Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass said. “Through strategic partnerships, Bryan Station High School has encouraged students to grow into responsible, compassionate and contributing adults.”
Located on the north side of Lexington where rolling farms meet urban communities, Bryan Station High School focused on ways to improve water quality in the city. By partnering with the local community, the school created a rain garden and outdoor classroom, which resulted in a practical outdoor space that is used by both the high school and Bryan Station Middle School.
The University of Kentucky’s (UK’s) College of Education worked alongside students to research ways to improve the water quality around the city. Students participated in multiple lessons and tested water quality at Lexmark and the Kentucky Horse Park. These tests included chemical tests, such as nitrogen, dissolved oxygen, pH and phosphorus, as well as physical tests, such as turbidity and counting populations of macro-invertebrates in the water. The school also has worked with UK’s Office of Sustainability to determine methods to increase fresh food accessibility in urban areas.
Bryan Station monitors energy costs by conducting monthly energy audits, which has led to a decrease in energy and water consumption within the school. Energy consumption has decreased by 17% over the past four years, and the school reduced water usage by 30% from 2015-2019.
Visit USED’s website for the full list of selected schools, districts, colleges and universities, as well as their nomination packages.