About St. John’s College
Sustainability and Green Projects at St. John’s College
The College Creek Shoreline Restoration
The College Creek shoreline is our most notable and visible environmental project. It has been a model for shoreline restoration projects in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. The college removed bulkhead along the creek and planted native species of grasses. This shoreline is the largest to date on the Chesapeake and is used in the region as an educational demonstration site.
As part of this project, 680 feet of structural bulkhead along College Creek was removed, and an area was restored to a natural wetland and shrub buffer. The shoreline was graded to a natural slope and planted with 20 species of native vegetation. Main partners include the Chesapeake Bay Trust, the NOAA Restoration Center, the Keith Campbell Foundation for the Environment, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, the Department of Natural Resources, Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Fish America Foundation, Maryland Department of the Environment and the Bates Foundation.
The rainwater gardens between Gilliam and Spector Halls and by the Mellon Hall parking lot collect storm water so that it can seep slowly into the soil, preventing rainwater run-off from reaching College Creek and the Chesapeake Bay. The gardens are planted with ferns and cattails interspersed with colorful black-eyed Susans.
Geothermal Heating and Cooling
Two college residence halls, Gilliam and Spector, are both cooled and heated with an energy-saving geothermal system. More than 150 students live in these dorms. The new administrative building, the Hodson House, also includes a geothermal system.
The college has stepped up recycling efforts in the past year, significantly reducing the amount of waste going to the landfill.
Rainbarrels have been installed on two St. John’s buildings: the Carroll Barrister Building and Pinkney Hall.
Betty and Norman Levan Hall
Betty and Norman Levan Hall, which will be completed this August 2010, is slated to receive a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold rating. Housing Graduate Institute offices and common room, as well as seminar rooms, faculty offices, reception areas and an art gallery, the 10,000 square foot building boasts a 6.56 kW photovoltaic array, non-CFC heating and ventilation units, a 6,000 gallon underground cistern for water catchment and irrigation of the surrounding landscape. Additionally, more than 50% of the wood-based materials and products used in constructing Levan Hall are certified in accordance with the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) Principles and Criteria. Deliberate selection of indoor water fixtures and steps taken to reduce Levan Hall’s carbon footprint forecast annual indoor water savings of 48.1% and at least 28% less energy use than its baseline building performance rating.
Santa Fe Students for a Sustainable Future (S³F) took on the major task of implementing composting in the Dining Hall. Composting information was presented by S³F members at every meal in the Dining Hall for a week to educate and excite the College community. The success of the school-year composting has been growing. The compost now feeds a nicely-sized community garden that is already producing vegetables. The composting project also re-ignited interest in the College’s defunct greenhouse which is now in the process of being re-constructed – many thanks to the Senior Class of 2010 for this departing gift and their hard work.
The active Santa Fe Students for a Sustainable Future also began a campaign to have an energy audit performed on some campus buildings to see where the College loses energy. Efforts towards this goal will continue when students return in August.
The Santa Fe campus has been actively recycling all it possibly can for a number of years now. Paper, aluminum, plastic, glass, printing cartridges are all easily disposed of in the many designated receptacles throughout campus. In the same vein, custodial services use 75% green products and practices to reduce the college’s impact on the environment.