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Catawba Center for Environment Receives Gift from Duke Power

April 19, 2005

Category: Academics, Environmental Science, Students

The Catawba College Center for the Environment has received a $5,000 gift from Duke Power Company to help fund the initial phase of a campus-focused sustainable practices program.

The pilot program, which will begin this spring, will help formulate a three-year initiative designed to reduce the environmental impact of campus operations and to serve as a model for other organizations and businesses in the community. The project will also provide students with opportunities for real-world experience that supports their course work and offer educational opportunities for students and the community through presentations by experts on sustainability issues.

During the pilot project, the center staff and a team of Catawba students will examine areas that impact air quality, including transportation, landscaping and maintenance/facilities, to determine specific changes that might be made to reduce air pollution.

After the assessment period, the team will compile and present recommendations and an action plan to the administration. These suggestions may include anything from using landscaping equipment during off-peak hours during ozone alert days and installing more bicycle racks to renting alternative-fuel vehicles for college use or purchasing pollution-reduction devices for college-owned vehicles.  

The three-year sustainability initiative, scheduled to begin in the fall, will involve a number of areas on the Catawba campus, including landscaping, waste management, energy efficiency, water conservation and community education.

“We appreciate very much Duke Power’s endorsement of this first phase of our campus initiative,” says Dr. John Wear, center director. “This will give our students valuable skills in researching sources of pollution and designing and implementing strategies to mitigate that pollution. It also has the potential to change the way we operate on this campus and in the community. We hope our example will prompt other organizations to implement sustainable practices as well.”

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