A sustainable learning community is created through the gifts of the entire community. Individual passion, commitment and engagement categorize these efforts, while applied in concert with the entire institution. Across campus, cross-functional projects have faculty, students and staff working alongside one another, maximizing each one’s gifts and moving toward our vision.
- The classes of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 have generously designated their senior gifts for local and international sustainability projects, including providing water filtration systems to a village in Bolivia and continued restoration of the on-campus Yellow Breeches Creek.
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.
- Messiah’s Community Covenant expresses the College’s sincere commitment to sustainability: “This respect for creation also shows itself in our treatment of natural resources. As stewards we are to be faithful in preserving the environment and in maintaining the balances within the creation order. We are to use our intellect and creativity to preserve and enhance the creation, using its resources prudently in light of the uncertain limits to history and life as we know it.”
- President Kim Phipps is a signatory of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, a nationwide effort to accelerate progress towards climate neutrality and sustainability.
- 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.
- Messiah College has had a robust recycling program since the early 1980s when two students launched the initiative in response to the class, “Man and His Environmental Problems.” Now Messiah recycles cans, glass, paper, cardboard, metals, electronics, rechargeable batteries, cell phones and Styrofoam.
- Messiah maintains an intentional residential space for students interested in practicing sustainable living. Students living in the Restoration House commit to live in relationship with God, people and the environment by limiting energy use and waste.
- In 2010 ecology students and faculty identified species native to the area and planted a plot outside Jordan/Kline Halls to resemble a central Pennsylvania forest.
- The Clifford L. Jones Solar Scholars Pavilion generates enough power to offset energy usage in a single computer lab in Frey Hall academic building. The structure is student-designed and constructed.
- The Oakes Museum of Natural History—home to a collection of Smithsonian quality African and North American mammals birds, eggs, fish, seashells, minerals, insects and fossils—offers tours of sustainability projects on Messiah's campus to local school children.