Messiah College emphasizes environmental stewardship
Formerly called the Greenhouse, the community of students living at this off-campus satellite house (pictured right) seeks “to live in a mutual relationship with the environment” by limiting their energy use and reducing waste.
Messiah’s student-led environmental group, Earthkeepers, has initiated a Campus Environmental Challenge. Among other activities, the group is planning a campuswide energy audit in an effort to reduce energy consumption and has been instrumental in the College’s decision to purchase wind energy.
With programs in Belize and New Zealand, this member organization of the Christians for Environmental Stewardship Network offers Messiah students the opportunity to study Creation care in a cross-cultural setting.
With locations in the Great Lakes Forest of northern Michigan, Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, southern Florida, and southern India, the Au Sable Institute provides university-level courses with transferable credits to over 50 colleges and universities. Each year, an average of 20–25 Messiah students take courses, gain field experience, and develop practical tools for environmental stewardship in these programs that address both scientific and theological issues.
Through Community Energy, Inc., of Wayne, Pa., Messiah College purchases 4.5 percent of its electricity in the form
of wind energy, a renewable energy source. Community Energy is responsible for most of the largest wind energy purchases in the United States.
With a $40,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the project will re-vegetate the Yellow Breeches Creek banks upstream of the covered bridge in an attempt to prevent erosion, improve habitat, and enhance recreation.
The Department of Visual Arts and The Aughinbaugh Gallery invited Peter Richards, senior artist from the Exploratorium in San Francisco, to direct the “Breeching Boundaries: An Interdisciplinary Approach” exhibition this past fall. The exhibition, a unique combination of historic and aesthetic data from the Yellow Breeches, will inform the development of the Yellow Breeches Restoration Project.
Messiah College is one of the first five colleges in Pennsylvania to receive this $21,000 grant. The College
will use this funding to help its students design and build a three-kilowatt solar power station on campus. The program also includes the development of a general education course in sustainable energy at Messiah.
Students in this campus organization, whose name is Greek for “Approved Workers,” produce solar power stations for use in the sustainable development missions work they do in Africa (one team is pictured left). The group also explores biodiesel as an alternative fuel and hopes to use waste oil from Messiah’s cafeteria in sustainable development projects on campus in the future.