GCDS French Farm and Sustainability


To connect people with nature,
To learn that people and nature are one,
And to empower us to care for our home.

GCDS French Farm


Desdemona and French Farm Coordinator Mara Shore
What's there?

Sheep, chickens, and peacocks currently live at the farm!

What can I do?

Build empathy, learn practical skills, develop personal responsibility and self-confidence by caring for the animals on the farm.


Vegetable gardens and compost bins ready for winter
What's there?

1600+ square feet of fenced, raised vegetable beds and herb gardens surrounded by stone walls. Cold frames, greenhouse spaces and a hidden, sod-roofed root cellar extend our growing season.

What can I do?

Get your hands dirty producing food for GCDS and our neighbors! Learn about ancient and modern farming practices, plant seeds, and eat your first raw pea pod!


Honey bee pollinating a stewartia blossom
What's there?

Imaginatively planned gardens with 100’s of species of native and exotic trees, shrubs, perennials, and bulbs from all over the world. There is something to surprise and delight in every season.

What can I do?

Enjoy the beauty of the gardens, study their forms, functions and aesthetics, consider ways to help the gardens thrive as conditions change, and practice weeding, pruning, dividing, and planning.


Working antique cider press
What's there?

Crystals, minerals, geodes, fossils, sculptures, artifacts including agricultural tools, art installations and more!

What can I do?

Look, touch, and wonder! Try using a tool! Ponder the relationship between natural and man-made objects, identify, describe and research their history, and explore the creation and placement of objects, including artists’ concepts and techniques.

Future French Farmer? Questions?

Please contact frenchfarm@gcds.net.


Sustainability at GCDS

Did you know that...

...GCDS has 1,068 solar panels on campus?

Country Day's 352 kW solar system is instrumental not only in reducing fossil fuel consumption—a key tenant of environmental stewardship—but also in providing faculty new ways to educate children about energy and sustainability.

As part of the solar installation, all GCDS students have access to real time data from the system. “There are countless ways this data could be used in the math and science curricula, as well as in other departments and for special projects,” notes Laura di Bonaventura, Director of Sustainability at GCDS.

Analyzing this information helps learn the differences between renewable and non-renewable energy sources; how orientation, pitch, and other factors drive productivity; and they can compare past practices to present and future options. “Over time, every GCDS graduate will be ‘energy literate,’ and you can bet that students are going to be asking us ‘what’s next?’”

...GCDS "uses" rain?

The large rain gardens on campus control erosion and act as natural storm drains, while the 18,000 gallon cistern under the scoreboard captures and uses runoff to irrigate the fields.

...GCDS is composting and growing local plants and foods?

The organic garden, science house garden, composting barrels, and herb garden by the Dining Hall are all designed to facilitate "learning by doing" and help children understand the positive, 'closed circle' of garden—to table—to compost—to garden.

...does not use harmful pesticides?

No pesticides are used on the sports fields, and organic fertilizer is used on the campus grounds. The type of biodegradable turf used on the Lower School playing area was carefully selected to make sure it does not heat up or harbor bacteria or contain the harmful materials found in some turf fields.

...builds sustainably?

The Upper School, Performing Arts Center, and main faculty housing are LEED certified, and GCDS is committed to continuing this effort to build sustainably for all future campus construction.

...is recognized by the USHFC as a national leader in healthy dining?

Image: REAL Certified logoOn October 11, 2016, the United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) announced that Greenwich Country Day School was the first school in the nation to become Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) Certified, the nationally recognized mark of excellence for food and foodservice providers committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.

...is reducing our carbon footprint through the Tiger Rides program?

Tiger Rides encourages the use of town buses, carpooling, and GCDS "Tiger Buses" to make transportation easier and greener for GCDS families.

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For questions or to learn more about GCDS sustainability efforts, contact sustainability@gcds.net.