Natural gas utilities are #FuelingOurCommunities by making philanthropy a top priority. Be it providing meals to the homeless, supporting military veterans, or helping adults learn to read or earn a GED, natural gas utilities are true partners of the communities they serve.
This month, we are spotlighting Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Dominion and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and the variety of programs they offer to help their customers and employees actively take part in caring for the environment. In April, our members celebrated Earth Month as well as Arbor Day and activities ranged from tree plantings and beautification projects to park and downtown cleanups and much more.
Students taking part in Dominion’s Project Plant It! tree planting activities.
Thanks to Dominion’s Project Plant It! program, students are inspired to connect with the environment by getting involved with hands-on activities that demonstrate how trees can help to moderate climates, clean the air, provide homes for wildlife and prevent soil erosion. Along with classroom materials, each child in participating classes received a free Eastern Redbud tree seedling to plant at home in honor of Arbor Day.
Since its launch in 2007, Project Plant It! has helped to teach and inspire hundreds of thousands of young students to care for the environment by planting trees. The program has distributed more than 350,000 free tree seedlings to elementary school students in regions where Dominion operates and according to the Virginia Department of Forestry, that equates to about 875 acres of new forest, if all reach maturity.
SDG&E offers tips for safe planting during Arbor Day celebration.
Similarly, SDG&E offered best practices when planting trees throughout National Safe Digging Month and during its annual Arbor Day celebration in April. As part of SDG&E’s commitment to proper tree care, public education and the environment, SDG&E hosted an Arbor Day tree-planting event with a local elementary school in Poway, CA. Joined by students, teachers, local elected officials, and the California Fire and Urban Corp. of San Diego, SDG&E worked with teams of students to plant over 20 trees around campus. When planting trees, kids were encouraged to keep the future growth of the tree in mind. Often times, as trees grow to mature heights, they can interfere with overhead power lines and in some cases underground utility lines.
Notably, for 13 years, SDG&E has been recognized as a Tree Line USA Utility, which identifies public and private utilities throughout the nation that demonstrate practices that protect and enhance America’s urban forests.
Justin Kephart, a vegetation program manager at PG&E, talks to students at Liberty Elementary School in Santa Maria about the importance of trees, the benefits they provide and proper tree care practices.
In addition, PG&E participated in its fourth annual company-wide Month of Service celebration. PG&E customers, employees and their families participated in a variety of volunteer projects including planting native and drought-tolerant vegetation, installing rain barrels and removing trash and invasive plants to create a more welcoming and sustainable environment. The events were anchored by Earth Day projects in partnership with the California State Parks Foundation. PG&E also provided a $200,000 grant to the California State Parks Foundation for the supplies and materials to complete 10 Earth Day projects throughout Northern and Central California.
Natural gas utilities are making an impact at the local level, and yet there is a broader meaning to their dedicated action. By caring for their communities, they are lifting up our nation—helping families save money, creating good paying jobs and reducing our impact on the environment. Please use the hashtag #FuelingOurCommunities to highlight how you’re giving back so we can promote your good work on our social media channels.
Next month, we will be highlighting efforts advocating for education. Please share your initiatives with us in the comments section below or by emailing email@example.com to be featured on the True Blue Natural Gas blog.