Tree planting, conservation and a raptor adventure center among environmental programs to benefit from Duke Energy grants

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  • 16 North Carolina organizations will benefit from more than $1.5 million in 2016 environmental grants

RALEIGH – The Duke Energy Foundation is investing more than $1.5 million in 16 North Carolina environmental nonprofit organizations.

The grants will fund environmental projects, wildlife conservation efforts and environmental educational programs across the state, including $400,000 for the Carolina Raptor Center to build an amphitheater and support the construction of a new raptor trail.

“North Carolina is our home and taking care of it is important to us,” said David Fountain, Duke Energy’s North Carolina president. “We are proud to invest in programs and initiatives that give people a chance to enjoy our state’s wonderful natural environment and encourage conservation.”

One of the grants, totaling $80,000, will help support Keep Durham Beautiful, which plans to plant urban trees and provide educational programming and outreach related to environmental conservation.

“Our goal is to reduce our carbon footprint and promote environmental beautification while bringing the community together,” said Tania Dautlick, executive director, Keep Durham Beautiful. “Duke Energy’s significant support will enable us to plant 100 urban trees and provide outreach and awareness programs to 1,500 residents.”

Annually, the Duke Energy Foundation funds $20 million in charitable grants in North Carolina. These grants are distributed across each of its priority areas, including environment, community impact, K-12 education and workforce development.

Environmental grant recipients

These organizations received grants to improve the environment in their local communities:

Asheville GreenWorks – $50,000 for the Forever Green: The GreenWorks Urban Forest Stewardship Program supports planting trees along streets and in community orchards.

Bee City USA – $15,000 for an orientation program for North Carolina’s Bee City USA affiliates. The program will help educate Carolinians about bee pollination and conservation.

Catawba County Historical Association – $50,000 for the Lyle Creek Stream Bank Restoration and Demonstration Site at Bunker Hill Covered Bridge. This program supports the assessment, engineering plans and repair work for the ongoing erosion along the banks of Lyle Creek.

Carolina Raptor Center – $400,000 to help build a new raptor trail featuring interactive exhibits and web-enabled learning pavilions and a technologically advanced amphitheater to enhance programming, including STEM education for children. Another $30,000 will go to the Bald Eagle and Environmental Conservation Program to support conservation efforts for bald eagles and educational programs.

Conservation Trust for North Carolina – $70,000 for the North Carolina Youth Conservation Corps that will expand the number of summer crews, organize a Professional Development Day and incorporate more partners.

Keep Durham Beautiful – $80,000 for the East Durham Urban Canopy Renewal project to plant trees and provide educational programming and outreach related to environmental conservation.

National Wild Turkey Federation – $500,000 to support the Energy for Wildlife program, which will conserve and enhance more than 6,000 acres of critical habitat benefiting pollinators, birds and other wildlife species.

North Carolina Arboretum Society – $25,000 to support Project OWL (Outdoor Wonders and Learning), which provides professional development workshops to teachers, outdoor study areas to schools and a curriculum guide for students.

North Carolina Coastal Land Trust – $68,000 for the Connecting Children to Nature: Flytraps and Pollinators program. The program will create a pollinator meadow in Onslow County and a curriculum and accompanying resources for students who visit the Stanley Rehder Carnivorous Plant Garden in Wilmington.

North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation – $50,000 for the Spreading the Conservation Message program, which will be used for effective hands-on educational resources.

North Carolina Urban Forest Council – $15,000 for the Legacy Tree Fund Program, which provides grants to qualifying projects within North Carolina communities to plant trees in public spaces.

TreesCharlotte – $25,000 for the Community Tree Planting Event and Educational Programs. This program will support purchasing trees to be planted during the community event and providing materials for educational programs.

Triangle Land Conservancy – $40,000 for the Get Wild! 2.0 program, which will further volunteer engagement efforts in underserved communities.

Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park and Eco-Center – $17,500 to support Sylvan Heights’ STEM education programs. Sylvan Heights is an educational destination for more than 47,000 visitors from across the state every year.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – $179,932 to support the UNC Institute for the Environment: Sustainable Solutions for Water, Energy and Economic Development program.

YMCA of Greater Charlotte – $10,000 to support the Environment Education program at YMCA Camp Thunderbird. This program provides financial assistance to low-income schools that would otherwise not be able to send their students.

Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. In 2015, the foundation provided more than $30 million in charitable gifts. The foundation’s education focus spans kindergarten to career, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), early childhood literacy and workforce development. It also supports the environment and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture. For more information, visit

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