Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation Awards $100,000 to The Conservation Fund in First Annual Environmental and Energy Sustainability Grant

Grant will support natural resource-based economic development projects in North Carolina; Greenway development, reforestation and streambank restoration in Tennessee.

Jun 08, 2010, 13:03 ET from Piedmont Natural Gas

CHARLOTTE, N.C., June 8  /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Piedmont Natural Gas (NYSE: PNY) announced today that the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation (Foundation) has awarded its first annual Environmental and Energy Sustainability grant in the amount of $100,000 to The Conservation Fund (TCF), a leading non-profit dedicated to advancing America's land and water legacy while supporting local economies.  The grant will support TCF projects in 39 counties in eastern North Carolina and also in Davidson County –Metropolitan Nashville, Tennessee.

In announcing the grant at an award ceremony in Raleigh, Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation President, George Baldwin commented, "The Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation and Piedmont Natural Gas are committed to enriching the economic, environmental and social vitality of the communities we serve.  With today's awarding of the Foundation's first annual Environmental and Energy Sustainability Grant to The Conservation Fund, we are excited about the opportunities this award will help create and we look forward to seeing the results of TCF's efforts."

In North Carolina, the Foundation's grant will help TCF engage low-income, under-served communities by focusing on community outreach and education on economic and energy sustainability solutions, by developing public and private partnerships that help identify "green-collar" job opportunities and business development activities, and by supporting sustainable agriculture initiatives that foster environmentally-responsible economic development and land ownership activities.

In Tennessee, the Foundation's grant will support TCF's partnership with the Metropolitan Government of Nashville, Davidson County and the Land Trust for Tennessee to create a comprehensive "green infrastructure plan" for the city as part of Nashville Mayor Karl Dean's, "Nashville: Naturally" initiative.  The grant will help leverage investments already made by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville in the project and will support greenway development and recreational access through reforestation in the Mill Creek watershed as well as stream-bank restoration activities in the same area.

About the Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation

The Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation was established in 2004 with initial funding of $7 million from Piedmont Natural Gas.  The Piedmont Natural Gas Foundation assists qualified charitable agencies and organizations within Piedmont Natural Gas' three-state service area, through the awarding of grants.  The Foundation's mission of, "Enriching Our Communities," mirrors Piedmont Natural Gas' strong philanthropic commitment to the communities it serves.  The Foundation's grant making strategy further reflects that commitment by focusing on two areas: Environmental Stewardship and Energy Sustainability, and Community Enrichment Initiatives centered on Education, Workforce Development and Health and Human Services.  

Thus far in 2010, the Foundation has awarded more than $500,000 in grants and, since its inception, has invested more than $4.5 million in grants to more than 600 organizations.

About Piedmont Natural Gas

Piedmont Natural Gas is an energy services company primarily engaged in the distribution of natural gas to more than one million residential, commercial and industrial utility customers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, including 52,000 customers served by municipalities who are wholesale customers.  Our subsidiaries are invested in joint venture, energy-related businesses, including unregulated retail natural gas marketing, interstate natural gas storage and intrastate natural gas transportation.  More information about Piedmont Natural Gas is available on the Internet at http://www.piedmontng.com.

About The Conservation Fund

The Conservation Fund is a top-ranked non-profit dedicated to saving America's lands and waters while supporting local economies. Based in North Carolina, the Fund also serves South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee. Since 1985, the Fund has protected 6.5 million acres, helped communities plan for growth, invested in sustainable small business and trained conservation leaders. For more information about the organization, visit the website at www.conservationfund.org.

SOURCE Piedmont Natural Gas