Creation care comes naturally, takes many formsBy Beth Lorow Messiah College
GRANTHAM, Pa. — Christ-centered creation care at Messiah College has grown from an environmental stewardship class more than 40 years ago to many initiatives today.
From a popular course, Humankind and the Environment, Messiah’s student-led environmental movement, Earthkeepers, and campus-wide recycling were born.
The precepts of what was once a single class have developed into two major areas of study: a humanities-based sustainability studies degree and a science-based environmental science degree.
Many creation-care efforts are student-initiated and led.
In 2007 students planted an organic garden on a quarter-acre plot in the heart of campus. That garden, now known as the Grantham Community Garden, is a community-supported agriculture initiative. Shareholders pay a fee in exchange for fresh produce from the garden’s harvest.
The primary shareholder is the college’s own dining service, which incorporates the fresh vegetables into its summer menus.
The soil that nourishes the garden is the result of a student-led program that composts about 700 pounds of organic waste from campus eateries.
About a decade ago, engineering students began researching and developing a small-scale process for creating biodiesel, an environmentally friendly fuel oil substitute.
Now, the college has a production facility that makes enough biodiesel to power the fleet of campus utility vehicles.
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