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The college's first crew of four-legged lawnmowers in 2015, shown with Farm Manager Kat Christen and then-student and Farm Assistant Alli King.

The college's first crew of four-legged lawnmowers in 2015, shown with Farm Manager Kat Christen and then-student and Farm Assistant Alli King.

Antioch recognized for sustainability practices

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Submitted by Antioch College

Antioch College has been recognized as a top performer in the 2018 Sustainable Campus Index, achieving a second-place rating in top performing institutions for grounds as well as achieving a seventh-place rating as a top performing institution for food and dining among institutions ranked by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System, or STARS. The Sustainable Campus Index, a publication of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education, or AASHE, highlights top-performing sustainable colleges and universities overall and in 17 impact areas, as measured by STARS.

“This noteworthy achievement represents national recognition for the many outstanding ways Antioch College engages in sustainability,” said Antioch College President Tom Manley. As an Area of Practice for the college, sustainability is lived and applied throughout the experiences of students, faculty, and staff on campus, and often off campus as well.

The Antioch College Campus Landscape Master Plan specifies management without the use of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. Native plantings and bio-retention methods are used across the campus, which, along with the Antioch Farm, serve as learning spaces as well. The Antioch Farm, which comprises nine acres of growing and grazing land, uses campus leaves, vegetable dining scraps, animal manure, and other local “waste” products to create a nutrient-rich soil. Farming methods used at the farm meet the USDA organic standards, and are also informed by ecological, biodynamic, and permaculture practices. Innovative practices, like the college’s solar sheep — that is, sheep who graze the grass on the college’s solar farm and take shelter under the panels — provide multiple benefits to the landscape and students’ learning.

Antioch College prioritizes direct purchases from local small farmers and organic growers. The Antioch Kitchens participate in the Real Food Challenge, serving 61 percent real food. All food from the Antioch Farm is harvested for campus dining halls, and at least 28 percent of the locally-sourced seasonal produce served in the dining halls is raised on the Farm. On-campus dining at the college is institution-run and hires student employees. The Antioch Kitchens Policy examines and analyzes issues surrounding the modern food system and provides goals in response to those issues, including serving only in-season foods and providing equitably priced meals to students.


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