Pacific Gas and Electric Company today announced that it is granting $162,000 to the California State Parks Foundation to help fund restoration and environmental improvement projects. Additionally, more than 1,000 PG+E employees, retirees and their families will work alongside community volunteers on Saturday, April 19, to celebrate Earth Day and help clean up and restore 13 state and community parks in northern and central California.
2008 marks the seventh consecutive year the utility has partnered with the California State Parks Foundation on the Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup program. Over the past seven years, PG&E has granted more than $850,000 to fund vital maintenance and improvement projects at California's parks with over 4,000 PG&E employees contributing thousands of volunteer hours on Earth Day.
"For PG&E, protecting the environment is more than providing some of the nation's most environmentally responsible energy services and products," said Peter Darbee, Chairman, CEO and president of PG&E Corporation. "It's also about giving back to the communities in which we live and work. We are honored to team up again this year with California State Parks Foundation for the annual park restoration and cleanup campaign."
At 13 park sites on April 19, PG&E volunteers will plant trees and shrubs, remove invasive non-native plants, clear trash and debris, and make other improvements to parks, such as installing an irrigation system. PG&E will also provide volunteers with free energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs to help them reduce their carbon footprint. In 2007, nearly 1,300 PG&E employees and their families volunteered at 16 parks across the state, where they planted more than 8,000 trees and plants, removed 2,439 bags of trash and recyclables and restored 12 miles of trails on Earth Day.
Now more than ever, community participation at parks on Earth Day is important this year due to continuing budget cuts and a variety of threats to state parks throughout California. The state's 278 parks comprise more than 1.5 million acres of land which needs to be maintained.
"The Earth Day program is critical this year as the state's faces severe budget challenges," said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the California State Parks Foundation. "Thanks to the ongoing support of PG&E, including the hard work of over 4,000 employee volunteers, we are able to complete long delayed projects that otherwise would not be possible."
The California State Parks Foundation celebrates the 11th anniversary year of the Earth Day Restoration and Cleanup Program on April 19. Since its inception in 1998, the California State Parks Foundation Earth Day program has had tremendous impact: 60,000 participants have contributed more than 250,000 volunteer hours worth an estimated $5,000,000 in park maintenance and improvements. Including this year's grants, the Foundation has awarded more than $963,000 to state parks throughout California.