Catawba awarded tree campus higher education

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 13, 2024

Catawba College News Service

SALISBURY — Catawba College was honored with a 2023 Tree Campus Higher Education recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation, reaffirming its commitment to creating a healthy environment on campus, according to the N.C. Forest Service.

“We are excited to obtain the Tree Campus Higher Education designation for 2023,” said Jeff Hartley, Catawba’s landscape account manager. “A healthy tree population helps cleanse the air, reduce and filter harmful carbon emissions, and helps provide a comfortable setting for all to enjoy.” 

A national program launched in 2008, Tree Campus Higher Education, formerly Tree Campus USA, honors colleges and universities, and their leaders, for promoting healthy trees and for engaging students and employees in the spirit of conservation.

To obtain this distinction, Catawba College met the five core standards for effective campus forest management: establishing a tree advisory committee, evidence of a tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for the campus tree program, observing Arbor Day, and student service-learning projects.

Catawba College continues to build on its commitment to sustainability. It was the first college in the Southeast to be certified carbon neutral seven years ahead of its 2030 goal, and the first campus in the U.S. to add Haven solar shelters to its campus. The campus is also home to a solar-powered trash compactor bin from CleanCUBE which holds up to five times more waste compared to traditional bins.

The college added an electric vehicle (EV) charging station for visitors last fall and is in the process of adding additional charging stations. It also erected a solar sculpture created by Spotlight Solar. Catawba College is completing work on a new geothermal system that will provide efficient and clean heating and cooling for the Corriher-Linn-Black Library. The college’s Ketner School of Business is also launching a new Sustainable Leadership MBA concentration in collaboration with the Center for the Environment and Hurley School of Arts and Sciences.

To read more about Catawba’s Campus Tree Care Committee, go to

You can read more about the Tree Campus designation on the Arbor Day Foundation’s website at