From garden, to fork and back into the ground, new campus initiatives including raspberry bushes and compost bins will dot the Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) landscape thanks to initiatives submitted by faculty, staff and students.
Katie Jantzen, co-leader of Earthkeepers, said the overall goal of the mini-grants was to encourage the campus community to think more proactively about steps they can take to initiate sustainability efforts.
“We see these projects as a way of helping to support sustainability initiatives on campus that may not otherwise happen due to lack of funds,” said Jantzen. “Selection was based on the impact the project would have on the EMU community, student initiative, feasibility of implementation, and a diversity of ideas.”
Changes around campus
Projects to receive funding include a $400 grant for an LED theater light fixture for the Technical Theater class; $250 for compost bins in 15 lounge and kitchen areas across campus, submitted by Marcy Gineris, web content manager and strategist; $125 to purchase local food to reinforce learning in a food writing workshop, submitted by Kirsten Beachy, assistant professor in visual and communication arts and the language and literature departments; $125 for compost bins in residence halls, submitted by sophomore Christine Baer; and a $100 grant for raspberry hedges as edible landscaping near Northlawn residence hall, introduced by the Sustainable Food Initiative.
“We hope that our funding can be the initial impetus to get many of the projects off and running as they expand in scope and influence,” said Jantzen.
Winning projects were selected by a committee composed of Jonathan Lantz-Trissel, sustainability coordinator, Jim Yoder, Earthkeepers faculty advisor, Jantzen and co-leader Josh Kanagy and members of Earthkeepers.
Earthkeepers, Creation Care Council and the quality enhancement plan sponsored the mini-grants.
The mission of Earthkeepers is to encourage, simplify and implement environmentally friendly practices around the campus community by following Christ’s example of holistic redemption by pursuing sustainable attitudes and practices, according to their website. In addition, Earthkeepers have helped fund composting and recycling programs, edible landscaping and The Bicycle Cooperative.
More information on Creation Care Council and sustainability practices at EMU can be found at emu.edu/sustainability.