Dominion recognizes that its operations make a significant impact on people and the environment. Through charitable contributions and volunteer activities, we work to protect our natural resources and help organizations make efficient use of energy.
Our largest annual volunteer project combines volunteer know-how with Dominion Foundation funding. Dominion employees work in partnership with schools, state parks and environmental organizations to choose projects that will make a significant difference in the community. Volunteers have cleared hiking and nature trails, built pavilions for outdoor classrooms, refurbished parks and improved handicap access to fishing piers. The Dominion Foundation provides funds for materials and supplies – up to $2,500 per project – and employees organize the work and supply the labor. Projects take place each fall in more than a dozen states where Dominion has business operations. During the first decade, more than 6,000 volunteers devoted about 50,000 hours to 170 different projects. Over the same time, The Dominion Foundation contributed more than $400,000 in support. »View video
Helping future generations understand the need to protect the environment is important to Dominion. In partnership with the National Arbor Day Foundation, we work with school systems in six states in the Mid-Atlantic and New England to teach students first-hand about the environmental benefits of trees. Annually, more than 30,000 third-grade students receive tree seedlings that, at maturity, will be the equivalent of almost 75 acres of new forest lands. The Dominion Foundation provides up to $125,000 annually to the National Arbor Day Foundation to support Project Plant It! Teachers receive a free comprehensive kit of instructional materials, including lesson plans, posters, a DVD with videos about planting trees, and stickers and certificates. Each student receives a tree seedling to plant at home on Arbor Day in April.
Dominion’s largest environmental support has been to The Nature Conservancy, with land donations and charitable grants totaling more than $2.5 million. Recent grants are helping to preserve areas in the Central Appalachian Highlands of Virginia and West Virginia. In North Carolina, funds make the Nags Head Woods Preserve on the scenic Outer Banks more accessible, through construction of a boardwalk and raised observation platform for wildlife viewing.
Sediment, pollution and over-harvesting of resources have impaired the health of the Chesapeake Bay. With key support from The Dominion Foundation, the Maryland Artificial Reef Initiative is working to change that. MARI’s broad-based coalition of partners has built artificial reefs by recycling tons of concrete from demolition projects. The largest – covering a 220-acre site with about 80 acres of concrete – was funded by a total of $275,000 from Dominion. Located about eight miles northwest of Dominion’s liquefied natural gas storage facility at Cove Point, Md., the reef has been officially named the “Dominion Reef at The Gooses.” To give the new ecosystem a jump start, Dominion funded placement of about 75 tons of shell and about 25 bushels of oysters on the reef as well as an additional placement of juvenile oysters, called spat.
We also work with a myriad of organizations to educate children and land owners about protecting our rivers and lakes … from Trout Unlimited to the Center for Watershed Protection to Riverkeeper programs in multiple states. In Pennsylvania, the Dominion Watershed Mini-Grants Program – in partnership with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy – annually awards approximately $30,000 to watershed organizations across the state.
A long-term partnership between Dominion and Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation has made Virginia State Parks readily accessible to all. Funding from The Dominion Foundation allowed unique “Information Station” electronic kiosks to be installed at 31 Virginia parks. At the touch of a computer screen, visitors can take virtual tours of trails as well as view and print detailed hiking maps, wildlife-spotting guides and program descriptions and schedules. A subsequent grant funded a new website – www.VirginiaOutdoors.com – that now allows potential visitors to “tour” the parks from their home computers as they plan family outings.
In north-central Pennsylvania, Dominion has helped to create the largest elk watching and conservation education center in the eastern United States. The Pennsylvania Wild Elk Country Visitor Center, located in Elk County, includes interpretive exhibits, wildlife trails and viewing blinds.
Dominion has also funded handicap-accessible boardwalks and fishing piers, enabling wounded veterans and others to enjoy nature trails and freshwater fishing. Special grants have given high school students a once-in-a-lifetime trip by canoe from the headwaters of the James River to the Chesapeake Bay and have created a one-of-a kind Learning Barge floating classroom that lets students explore the environs of Eastern Virginia’s Elizabeth River and learn about environmental stewardship.
In addition to making program grants, Dominion partners with environmental organizations to recognize organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to preservation and conservation of natural resources, including the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, and the Lakeshore (Wisconsin) Natural Resources Partnership.
The Dominion Foundation is offering a competitive environmental stewardship grants program in Virginia. The Dominion Foundation will consider grant requests that focus on specific, short-term projects that promise measurable results to improve the environment. Learn more about the environmental stewardship grants program.