Duke Energy powers the vitality of natural resources in North Carolina through $800,000 in grants

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  • 22 organizations across North Carolina receive grants to enhance habitat, protect species, improve water quality and expand public access

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Today Duke Energy announced $807,000 in grant funding from the Duke Energy Foundation to 22 organizations to strengthen the health of our environment and increase access to nature in North Carolina. 

“North Carolina’s natural resources are a state treasure, and by collaborating with our trusted nonprofit partners we can accomplish more to protect and preserve species, habitats and water sources,” said Stephen De May, NC president, Duke Energy. “We’re working to ensure that future generations enjoy and benefit from all that North Carolina’s natural wonders have to offer.”

The Nature Conservancy was awarded a $100,000 grant for a project to research best practices for designing solar farms that are hospitable to native habitat and wildlife.

“Solar energy is crucial to reducing carbon emissions, but solar installations can also benefit nature in other ways by being wildlife and pollinator friendly. This research will give us the data to determine how to maximize these benefits,” said Katherine Skinner, executive director, Nature Conservancy in North Carolina.

The outcome of the Nature Conservancy project will be a white paper to share findings with the renewable energy community so solar developers can implement proven, best practices.

In Southeast Raleigh, The Conservation Fund was awarded $60,000 for a project that will connect two disenfranchised neighborhoods to Walnut Creek Wetland Park as part of a community-wide effort to improve access to natural resources in Southeast Raleigh.

“The Conservation Fund greatly appreciates this grant from the Duke Energy Foundation for our Parks with Purpose project in Southeast Raleigh,” said Bill Holman, executive director, The Conservation Fund. “This grant will help us and our many partners connect the Walnut Creek Wetland Park to the Rochester Heights and Biltmore Hills neighborhoods across Walnut Creek, remove invasive species in the park, restore wetland habitat and support development of a new park entrance on Bailey Drive.”

Powerful Communities: Nature Grant Recipients



Grant Award

Region Served

Asheville GreenWorks

Protect and promote the urban forest in Asheville through education and outreach


Buncombe Co.

Burke County Public Schools

Restore the Enola Trail Wetlands Area to eliminate erosion and treat runoff


Burke Co.

Catawba Lands Conservancy

Expand pollinator habitat through 10 acres of electric utility corridors


Gaston Co., Lincoln Co., Mecklenburg Co.

Conservation Legacy

Engage young people in hands-on conservation work and leadership development through the Conservation Corps North Carolina



Conservation Trust for North Carolina

Support a collaborative, pilot project to create a community-driven plan that limits impacts of repeated flooding


Eastern NC

Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association

Reduce stormwater runoff, sediment and pollutants from entering South Ellerbe Creek along the East Coast Greenway


Durham Co.

Friends of the Durham Public Schools Hub Farm

Improve stormwater management and habitat conservation by transforming a defunct irrigation pond into a thriving wetland


Durham Co.

Friends of the Wallace Parks

Develop a master plan for Boney Mill Pond Park focused on conservation and community access


Duplin Co.,

Pender Co. 

Macon County Schools

Restore Porter's Creek Stream to decrease storm water runoff, improve habitant and provide student research opportunities


Macon Co.

Mount Holly Community Development Foundation

Expand the Mount Holly Greenway System through additional amenities for public enjoyment


Gaston Co. 

Nature Conservancy

Partner to research best practices for designing solar farms that support habitat and wildlife



North Carolina Coastal Land Trust

Restore the Atlantic White Cedar and Longleaf Pine in our coastal forests


Eastern NC

North Carolina Urban Forest Council

Plant trees as part of storm recovery in NC coastal communities


Eastern NC

North Carolina Wildlife Federation

Build coastal resilience through community conservation chapters in eastern North Carolina


Eastern NC

Piedmont Triad Regional Development Corporation

Develop the Piedmont Triad Blueways and Piedmont Triad Outdoor Recreation Guide to highlight natural resources



Rutherford County Tourism

Expand access to the Broad River Paddle Trail through an additional access point and paddler amenities


Rutherford Co.

The Conservation Fund

Build a park with purpose in Southeast Raleigh: Connecting Walnut Creek Wetland Park to neighborhoods south of the creek


Wake Co.

Town of Black Mountain

Stabilize the banks of the Swannanoa River, provide ADA access and educational opportunities


Buncombe Co.

Town of Chapel Hill

Celebrate the Chapel Hill's 200th birthday by planting 200 trees to reduce carbon emissions in underserved neighborhoods


Orange Co.

Town of Grifton

Reclaim vacant lots acquired through FEMA as wetlands to mitigate flooding, reduce maintenance, provide public access


Lenoir Co., Pitt Co.


Distribute 800 trees to Charlotte residents to improve air quality and expand the tree canopy


Mecklenburg Co.

Triangle Land Conservancy

Increase the diversity of native species at the Sarah and Bailey Williamson Preserve at Walnut Hill and prepare for the grand opening


Wake Co.


Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of communities where its customers live and work. The Foundation contributes more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. More information about the Duke Energy Foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.

The Duke Energy Foundation is solely funded by Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE: DUK) shareholder dollars.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers’ experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

A Fortune 150 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2019 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' 2019 "America's Best Employers" list.

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