Hiram College

Sustainability

Sustainability

Hiram College understands that sustainability is a big concept and a big deal. Hiram College is dedicated to enhancing sustainability at global, national and local levels. That's why students, faculty, and staff across the campus are busy learning about and doing things that contribute to a more sustainable world.  But we do prize work that we can do right here — in this place and its many special spaces — to create a more sustainable Hiram.

What exactly is “Sustainability”?

Officially defined as the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs, sustainability demands three things: healthy environments, vibrant societies and communities, and responsible fiscal planning.

In keeping with Hiram’s long tradition of learning through doing, there’s a lot going on here — with new projects always in the making.

Recent Eco-Friendly Work:

  • (2020) Built a community-accessible cob oven for sustainable and fun events
  • (2018-19) Constructed two outdoor classrooms for students and instructors
  • (2018-20) Revitalized miles of hiking trails in Hiram Village for community use
  • Provide reusable water bottles to all declared Hiram College students and use only reusable or compostable tableware at most School-sponsored events
  • Preserved 221 acres of Field Station land through a conservation easement
  • (2018) Installed water-bottle filling stations across campus to encourage reuse
  • Ongoing research, planning, and implementation of select campus sustainability projects by Hiram SEED Scholars 
  • (2014) Completed a Deep Energy Retrofit of campus-owned house to create the TREE House, the home of Environmental Studies
  • Acquired 152 acres  of logged forest for stream, wetland, and riparian restoration project
  • Retrofitted campus buildings with low-flow water devices, LED lighting, and energy efficient windows
  • Initiated seed collection project to grow and replant native and prairie plants into field habitats to increase diversity and reduce invasive species
  • Conserve 10,000 to 25,000 gallons of water per year with rain barrels and tanks at the Field Station and on campus
  • Engage students, faculty, and staff in citizen science through Hiram College’s Frog Watch chapter, part of a national effort to catalog frog and toad species diversity.
  • Instituted sustainable gardening program to provide food for educational animals at the James H. Barrow Biological Field Station, saving $1,500-$2,000 annually
  • Partner field station faculty and staff with students to complete dozens of land, water and wildlife conservation projects throughout the year
  • (2010 and 2012) Installed solar arrays to provide electricity to the Athletic Center, Gelbke Art Building, and Physical Plant headquarters
  • Achieved LEED certification in the James H. Barrow Biological Field Station building and East Residence Hall, and certifiable status in the Dining Hall
  • The TREE House

    The Teaching, Research, and Environmental Engagement House is the home of Hiram’s environmental studies program. This house, built in 1901, underwent a “deep energy retrofit” and reopened in October 2014 as a model of energy efficiency and sustainability.

  • The Field Stations

    Hiram College has two field stations. Less than three miles from campus, the James H. Barrow Biological Field Station is an active research and educational facility. Located in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, we have a beautiful camp called the Northwoods Field Station.

Involvement & Opportunities

Students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members are all invited to participate in sustainability efforts at Hiram College.