Bard envisions the liberal arts institution as the hub of a network, rather than a single, self-contained campus. Numerous institutes for special study are available on and off campus, connecting Bard students to the greater community.
The Center for Civic Engagement at Bard College embodies the fundamental belief that education and civil society are inextricably linked. In an age of information overload, it is more important than ever that citizens be educated and trained to think critically and be actively engaged with issues affecting public life.
Bard has pledged to reach carbon neutrality by 2035, and all new construction is built according to green principles. The Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts, Gabrielle H. Reem and Herbert J. Kayden Center for Science and Computation, László Z. Bitó '60 Conservatory Building, Alumni/ae Center, and Robbins House residential hall expansion are examples of campus facilities that are geothermally heated and cooled. Solar thermal panels provide hot water to several residential halls, and an effort to replace metal halide lamps with outdoor LED lighting fixtures is expected to cut energy use by a third. Bard also participates in the car-sharing program Zipcar, an alternative to car rental and car ownership. Additionally, the entire 540-acre campus has been designated as an arboretum, with the goal of preserving and cultivating the College's horticultural assets. Among its many gardens is the Bard College Community Garden, where students and staff plant, tend, and have access to vegetables, fruit, and flowers. Beginning in 2012, the Bard Farm will allow students to learn about growing food in an ecologically sound way. For more information on Bard's green programs and policies, including student-run initiatives such as the biodiesel co-op and bike share, visit the Office of Sustainability website.