One sign of a healthy ecosystem is its diversity. The same can be said of our campus. In caring for the biodiversity on campus, we are concerned for the vitality of species, the restoration of indigenous ecosystems and the flourishing of diversity in human-made landscapes.
Practically speaking, our pursuit of biodiversity on campus can be seen in the use native plants, reforestation efforts, demonstration gardens and deliberate creation of wildlife habitats.
- The Bridge magazine, Messiah's quarterly alumni publication, adopted the Forest Stewardship Council standards in 2007. This certification is the most socially, environmentally, and economically responsible third-party certification of its kind.
- Student volunteers retrieve upwards of 700 pounds of organic waste weekly from each Messiah eatery for an on-campus compost pile. The nutrient-rich soil produced from the waste is then used on the Grantham Community Garden and in various flowerbeds around campus.
- A portion of the fresh produce available during the summer months on Messiah’s salad bar may be from the student-managed, on-campus organic garden. Dining Services owns several shares of the Grantham Community Garden, a community-supported agriculture initiative.
- In 2010 ecology students and faculty identified species native to the area and planted a plot outside Jordan/Kline to resemble a central Pennsylvania forest.
- The Grantham Community Garden is a student-inspired, student-led effort to demonstrate and promote real-life concepts of sustainable agriculture by educating the campus community and visitors about the benefits of eating organic food and tapping into local farm economies for food resources. Students grow a variety of vegetables, flowers and herbs in the garden which functions as a student-run CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) initiative. A group of shareholders, including Messiah’s own dining services, purchase a share of the garden and then receive fresh, organic produce throughout the growing season. The nutrient-rich soil used in the garden is largely from the student-initiated composting program that collects waste from on-campus dining facilities and composts it in a remote area of campus.