The Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center is an experiential showcase on 377 acres in the Catawba Valley. With research plus demonstration projects from multiple Virginia Tech colleges, the center is creating a positive model for a sustainable world.

HISTORY: The Catawba Sustainability Center is situated in the Upper James River Basin in the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Historically, the Catawba Sustainability Center was a dairy employing nearby residents to provide meat and dairy products to the staff and patients at the Catawba Sanitarium, now known as the Catawba Hospital. In 1988, the hospital transferred 377 acres of its land holdings to Virginia Tech.

VISION: The Catawba Sustainability Center is a showcase for university education and engagement with the local community - a place to practice, demonstrate, learn, and teach about sustainability issues (from green building and construction to low-input agricultural production to water quality to onsite energy production to community-based business development) that affect our world today and into the future.

FUNDING: The Catawba Sustainability Center represents an investment of almost $1 million in funding annually. Sources include the Blue Moon Fund, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, USDA Forest Service, Virginia Tech's Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science, and Virginia Tech colleges and departments with funded projects.

PARTNERS: Virginia Tech's Catawba Sustainability Center works to advance collaboration with the community and the region by engaging with a broadly diverse group of partners and advisors. This ensures that we are able to address specific needs in the region, transfer lessons learned beyond university boundaries, and receive feedback from community partners to inform future research and demonstrations. A listing of current partners and advisory group members can be found at CSC Partners and Advisors.

CATAWBA DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS: A number of current projects are underway and are divided into two different categories: projects that showcase innovative land-management practices; and support for new and expanding agriculture and natural-resource businesses. Please go to VT EarthWorks & Catwaba Projects for additional information.

A number of educational programs related to Virginia Tech's Catawba Sustainability Center are delivered in the region. To learn more about upcoming events, please contact the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center by calling (540) 767-6100 or e-mail or visit us on facebook at

Planning Materials

Strategic Planning
Conceptual Planning

The Catawba Sustainability Center
Leadership Team

Josh Nease serves as manager of the Catawba Sustainability Center.Josh oversees all aspects of the university's work related to the Catawba Sustainability Center. He manages center operations and works closely with individuals who utilize the center to help them achieve their business, research, and/or education goals. He participates in numerous public outreach and community service activities as well as creates a programmatic platform for students, faculty, and staff for the development and application of best practices in sustainable development, regionally-focused "green" business development, and best land management practices. Contact Josh Nease by calling (540) 553-2311 (office), or e-mailing

Kay Dunkley is the director of the Virginia Tech Roanoke Center and provides administrative oversight on behalf of the Outreach and International Affairs division to the Catawba Sustainability Center. With the assistance of the entire team and key stakeholders from the university and community, Kay coordinates special events and programs 767-6100 or e-mailing