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Environmental Initiatives

Students learning about the ecosystem on the Chesapeake Bay at a boarding school in Pennsylvania.

Will Willis, Director of Environmental Initiatives and Science Faculty

We have a tradition of finding creative on-campus solutions for environmental stewardship and economic stability.

Founding headmaster Dr. William Mann Irvine built a power plant in the school’s early days. More recently, the Academy has partnered with local farms to provide food for students in the dining hall. Mercersburg has a long tradition of finding creative on-campus solutions for environmental stewardship and economic stability. These efforts serve to help elevate understanding and responsible action within the Mercersburg Academy community and beyond—when faculty and staff return home at night, students go home for breaks, and graduates carry their practices off to universities and colleges around the world.

Before coming to Mercersburg I was already very into environmental advocacy and activism. However, programs like environmental science and Green Team along with the openness of the curriculum have allowed me to not only explore my passion further, but take action to conserve and protect the earth and the communities I am part of.

Andrew Leibowitz '24

Green Team Logo

Green Team

The Green Team, Mercersburg’s student-driven environmental organization, has been in existence since 2000. Its mission is to raise awareness of and promote action toward responsible environmental change in our school and the global community. Through collaboration and communication, the team will reinforce positive green habits and work with the school administration and dining services to advocate for institutional changes. To that end, this group leads numerous annual programs to educate the community, including:

EcoDorm Challenge: This heated one-month battle in January between the dorms to save the most energy (kWh per capita per day) started back in 2005; it became a water-conservation challenge in 2017. 

Project Earth Day Education and Networking: Project EDEN was started in 2014 as a collaborative project with the Voices 4 Justice club. Students raise money to buy LED light bulbs for the students and families at nearby Mercersburg Elementary School, and visit the school to give a presentation to those students about the environmental importance and the cost-savings benefits of LEDs.

Environmental Stewardship

Projects at Mercersburg are initiated from any number of sources, from daily actions by staff to student-led projects to more institutional opportunities. Here are just a few previous examples.