Wabash Valley College began planning for sustainability in 2010 with the formation of a committee known as the 255 Initiative. The 255 Initiative has taken on several major projects since its inception: instituting a campus-wide recycling program, the installation of a solar array on a campus building in 2010, converting light sources on campus to LEDs, and upgrading the 10-year-old solar array to a more modern system. The committee is continuously looking for ways to improve campus and reduce the college's carbon footprint.
The 255 Initiative is dedicated to educating the community about WVC's Measure, Identify, and Reduce (M.I.R.) initiatives through campus events aimed at our community members and elementary and secondary school-age children. Further efforts to teach the community about our green initiatives will progress through our advisory committees, freshman orientations, student clubs, and other community outreach and recruitment programs.
As part of our efforts to educate our community about our sustainability efforts, we invite our community members to take a look at the metrics from our new solar array. These metrics detail how much power is being produced, the amount of CO2 emissions that have been reduced, and the equivalent number of trees planted.
However, the committee isn't solely focused on reducing its carbon footprint through technological means. The 255 Initiative is committed to taking care of the environment in other ways as well.
On May 11, 2021, a WVC employee discovered a swarm of honeybees congregating on a railing outside of their office. The administration contacted a resident beekeeper who suited up and transferred the bees into a bee box. WVC had the bees relocated to its pollinator plot on Oak Street in Mount Carmel. The pollinator plot was planted in 2020 in conjunction with Wabash Valley Service Company, IB Executive Turf and Landscape, Wabash Valley Stewardship Alliance, and southeastern Illinois Farm Bureaus.
The 1.1 acre-plot was planted to provide a habitat for pollinator species, promote awareness and education on the value of pollinator species to our local economy and the impact planting perennials has on soil quality. WVC was pleased to relocate this swarm to a suitable and habitable location.