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Center for Environment Receives $25,000 from Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

July 20, 2006

Category: Environmental Science

The Catawba College Center for the Environment recently received a $25,000 grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for its Sustainable Community Leadership Institute.

The institute will educate and equip current and prospective community leaders in the state with the skills and information they need to address the complexities of community issues.  Participants will approach community challenges, recognizing that economic prosperity, issues of social concern and the health of our citizens and our environment are deeply intertwined.

Sustainability, in fact, deals with many dimensions of community life. It involves living in such a way that we meet our current needs without compromising future generations' ability to meet their needs.

The nine-month institute will facilitate the development of potential solutions and help participants learn how to promote positive change their own communities. Each class will tackle a community challenge during the course, which will provide both hands-on experience and a team-building and leadership exercise for the participants. The institute will provide contact with thought leaders in leadership, sustainability and community engagement to communities in the state that do not have ready access to these resources.

"We are most grateful to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for its endorsement of this innovative institute," says Dr. John Wear, center director. "With these funds and others, we will be able to accelerate the transformation toward sustainable communities."

The Center for the Environment has worked throughout its 10-year history to raise awareness of the interrelated nature of community issues in the region and has served as a catalyst in addressing environmental concerns.
"The state is facing significant challenges to our environment, our economy, our health and our quality of life," Wear says. "We want to support community leaders and their vision for a vibrant future that not only protects our natural heritage but also encourages economic, social and public health. This institute promises to help communities — particularly the smaller ones — deal effectively with these challenges."

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