Normally, my coverage of green home improvement is limited to residential projects, but here’s news out of Saugerties, N.Y., that I just couldn’t resist blogging about: one of the nation’s top sanctuaries for abused and abandoned farm animals, Catskill Animal Sanctuary, is going completely solar. 

Starting yesterday, CAS began outfitting the roof of the farm’s main barn with 84 additional solar panels — SunPower panels installed by Hudson Valley Clean Energy — that will help the entire 100-acre facility run on 100 percent solar power. Phase I of the CAS solar conversion project was completed in February 2008.

In addition to this remarkable solar project, CAS has been long minimizing its environmental footprint in other ways such as composting manure (I imagine there is plenty to go around) for use as topsoil and using sustainably harvested timber for building projects. Most of the staff and volunteers at the farm also observe a vegan diet which CAS believes is the most potent way that the organization is making a difference.

For more information about the good, green work of CAS and for an overload of cute animal photos, check out the organization’s website. Below are photos of just a couple of the farm’s happy residents including Chomper the pig who was once a pet and orphaned after outgrowing his home, and Zen the goat who was found abandoned on the streets of NYC.


Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.