Spoon River College and Sustainability

aquaculture themeSpoon River College’s Mission is to provide a learning environment that offers a broad range of educational programs, cultural activities, and economic development opportunities that empower individuals and enhance the communities we serve.

By adopting green initiatives and educating college and community residents about sustainability, the college broadens the range of educational programs, ensures the future of the district’s long and rich culture, and offers new and promising economic opportunities.

Spoon River College’s commitment to area residents has now extended to the October 27, 2010 signing of the Illinois Campus Sustainability Compact.

indian grassSpoon River College’s commitment to green efforts have focused on campus initiatives that bring students opportunities to participate in initiatives to build greater social, economic, and environmental sustainability. SRC students, faculty, and staff are involved in this college wide effort of ways:

Agriculture Business Management Program

  • ABM 225 Renewable Energy - This course explores the relationship of renewable energy, the environment, and agriculture with emphasis on biofuels, wing energy, and hydropower.
  • New certificate in Sustainable Food Production – teaches students how to grown and market fruits and vegetables to local markets and restaurants.
  • Diesel and Power Systems Technology Program
  • The curriculum familiarizes students with the role of biofuels and renewable energy topics on a consistent and ongoing basis.

Historic Preservation

  • SBM 150 Introduction to Historic Preservation - This course will provide the student with a foundation in the historic preservation movement in America. There is no more ecologically friendly effort than to refurbish an existing building in a “green” manner and place that building back into productive service. This effort preserves our architectural history, saves money and materials over tearing down an existing structure and building new.

Student Involvement


  • SRC faculty, staff and students participate in a collection program gathering recyclable products such as aluminum and cardboard.

PEEPS (People for Earth’s Ecological Preservation)

  • This student organization works to improve the environment through projects, educational field trips and other activities through the exploration of all areas of science. PEEPS has groups on the Canton and Macomb campuses with active faculty sponsorship and involvement.
  • SRC has a campus chapter affiliated with the national Habitat for Humanity organization.
  • One of the major focuses of Habitat for Humanity is to use ecologically friendly materials in their homes whenever possible.
  • The current project house in conjunction with Fulton County Habitat for Humanity will have:
    • A high efficiency furnace and water heater (90% on the furnace)
    • Ridge vents and soffit breathers to make cooling and heating more efficient
    • Green board on walls to prevent growth of mold
    • Doors and windows are double pane, high efficiency models.

Spoon River College Facilities

  • New attendance centers in Havana and Rushville were built with extra insulation, energy efficient windows, occupancy sensors in rooms to turn lights on and off, motion-activated flushers and faucets in bathrooms, and hi-efficiency HVAC systems.
  • New Community Outreach Center in Macomb uses energy efficient geothermal heating and cooling (20,000 square feet of 80,000 square foot building located at 2500 East Jackson)
  • Future plans to remodel remaining 60,000 square feet of East Jackson facility making it the new Macomb Campus. Facility will include all “green systems” used in Havana and Rushville facilities as well as expansion of geothermal system.


Spoon River College partners with Fulton County transportation initiative to provide inexpensive and safe transportation for local residents as well as SRC students who attend the Canton campus. Not only does this meet a transportation need, but through this effort residents can conserve fuel.​​​​​

Spoon River College "Green Practices"

  • Electric usage was down 99,000 KWH FY11 compared to FY10, or roughly 3.3%. 
  • The new boilers in Macomb decreased gas therm usage by almost 13% saving the college roughly $1,900.  Total utilities for the Macomb campus were down 9.5% or roughly $4,200. 
  • The geothermal system in the Macomb Outreach Center (MOC)continues to deliver. The average monthly bill for heating and cooling 15,000 square feet was $672, down from $718 the year before. Total savings at the MOC over last year was $940.  The Canton Outreach Center also did its part with $766 in savings over last year or roughly 14%
  • Faculty are using college online instruction platform (Angel) to accept electronic assignments and distribute as a paper-reduction initiative and to enhance instruction.
  • Library has been moving to online and electronic subscriptions resulting in financial and space savings.
  • Student Services has placed both the course catalog and student handbook online saving money and cutting down on paper and printing.
  • The college's Interactive Video System has been used extensively for meetings, thereby reducing travel costs and time between campuses.
  • In 2010 the Human Resources department placed all employee forms (1098, W2, paystub, etc.) on the college’s secure online portal, MySRC. This has improved faculty and staff access to payroll information and saved time, money and resources through reduced printing.
  • On the Canton Campus, Engle Hall was closed for a substantial part of the summer and all summer courses were held in Taylor Hall. This effort saved the college money and the environment by reducing the use of energy to light and cool the building.
  • In an effort to take advantage of the College’s state-of-the art technology, the Spoon River College Board of Trustees has become paperless. Monthly Board agendas and related materials are now made available to the Board of Trustees using the College’s intranet SharePoint site. As a result, the College has realized a significant savings in supply charges and postage.



Randy Greenwell
VP - Instruction & Student Services
Canton Campus


 SRC Sustainability in the News


 Helpful Links


Recommendations by College Efficiency Committee

  • Turn off computer monitors when out of offices.
  • Shut down computer labs in classrooms, library and Cyber Cafes in the afternoon.
  • Replace less-efficient equipment with newer (monitors, printers, etc.)
  • Conduct energy/light audit to determine areas that could conserve heating/cooling & lighting.
  • Install motion sensor lights in less-visited areas.
  • Reduce frequency of mowing by planting prairie grass & wildflowers.
  • Participate in online transcript sending and receiving service.
  • Investigate initiatives to g​o paperless (ie: Student Services)