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WCU again designated Tree Campus USA, with plans for Earth Week activities

On the heels on being recertified as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, Western Carolina University is holding a series of sustainability events during Earth Week, April 19 to April 25.

The recognition is apropos. There are more than 3,300 trees on campus, according to Lauren Bishop, WCU chief sustainability officer, who also said the university supports recycling programs, green initiatives and carbon footprint reduction and conducts eco-awareness campaigns.

“One of the best ways we can mitigate climate change is thru carbon sequestration. Currently our campus trees are removing approximately 1.037 million pounds of CO2 per year, along with filtering just over seven million gallons of stormwater runoff, which helps keeps our air and waterways healthy,” said Bishop. “The quality of our resources impacts all of us and an important thing to mindful of not just during Earth Week, but every day.”

Trees on campus can lower energy costs by providing shade cover, cleaner air and water, and green spaces for students and faculty. In addition, trees improve students’ mental and cognitive health, provide an appealing aesthetic for campuses, and areas for studying and gathering. WCU data is available at

“Trees not only play a vital role in the environment but also in our daily lives,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “Having trees on college and university campuses is a great way to show a commitment to students and faculty’s overall wellbeing.”

WCU sustainability and Earth Week events include:

Monday, April 18, Pop-Up Clothing Swap

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Killian Courtyard

Tuesday, April 19, Campus Heritage Tree Walk

12:15-12:45 p.m. starts at Madison Hall parking lot

Wednesday, April 20, Lessons in Sustainability from Costa Rica

3-4 p.m. in Blue Ridge Conference Room

Thursday, April 21, Arbor Day of Service

1-4 p.m. meet behind Bardo Arts Center (tools provided)

Friday, April 22, annual Trashion Show

4-4:30 p.m. recycled fashion show on the University Center lawn

Saturday, April 23, annual Tuck River Cleanup

8-9 a.m. morning registration; noon to 1 afternoon registration at Alumni Tower

For more information on events or to sign-up for the Arbor Day of Service, contact Bishop at  or to sign-up for the Arbor Day of Service. For information on the Tuck River Cleanup, call 828-227-8813.

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