Creation Care is rooted in who we are and what we do.

We want renewing God’s good earth to be a way of life, so we make sustainability a priority—as an educational goal and an institutional value. We’re committed to learning how to be good caretakers of creation on our campus and around the globe.

Sustainability efforts at Calvin are rooted both in our heritage and our reformed mission. They are also strategic. The current strategic plan embraces and enacts environmental sustainability as a core value. And Calvin is guided in its sustainability efforts by its board of trustees-approved Statement on Sustainability, which takes seriously the biblical mandate to be stewards of God’s good earth.

Key Facts


We’re learning about sustainability from many angles because we realize that caring for our environment doesn’t fit neatly in a box—and doesn’t belong only in the classroom. Every day, our students, faculty and staff make big and small choices and discoveries that improve sustainability right here on our 400-acre campus and make an impact around the globe.

A Brief History

  • 1980 Earthkeeping: Christian Stewardship of Natural Resources, a groundbreaking book on creation care, is published.
  • 1985 The Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens is established, and in 2017, expands to comprise 1/4 of the campus.
  • 1990 The student-led Environmental Stewardship Coalition is established with the mission of raising campus consciousness regarding current environmental issues and emphasizing the Christian responsibility of stewardship.
  • 1997 The Calvin Environmental Assessment Program is started, taking academically based service-learning to another level.
  • 2004 The Bunker Interpretive Center is completed. The 5,000-square-foot educational space is the first LEED Gold-certified building in Grand Rapids.
  • 2007 The board of trustees approves the Statement on Sustainability, a document produced by the Faculty Environmental Stewardship Coalition.
  • 2008 Engineering students launch CERF, a green revolving fund, with donations and seed money from the college.
  • 2009 Plaster Creek Stewards, a collaboration of faculty, staff, and students working with local schools, churches, and community partners to restore the health and beauty to the area’s most contaminated waterway, is formed.
  • 2010 Calvin receives the “Greatest Green Initiative” award from the Business Review in West Michigan for innovation in faculty development and sustainability across the curriculum, among other initiatives.
  • 2011 An environmental studies major is established.
  • 2014 A second community garden is established on the Knollcrest campus.
  • 2016 Calvin receives a STARS Silver Rating for sustainability achievements from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).
  • 2017 Calvin earned Silver STARS rating for second year in a row.
  • 2017 President signed the Climate Commitment.

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