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Duke Energy celebrates Earth Day with $100,000 in grant funding to improve access to South Carolina

Funding is part of a $400,000 monthlong campaign focused on sustainability and environmental efforts across the Palmetto State

On Earth Day, the Duke Energy Foundation is awarding $100,000 in grants to organizations that maintain critical access to parks and trails across the state, ensuring future generations enjoy the immeasurable benefits of the natural resources of the Palmetto State.

This effort is part of a month-long initiative by Duke Energy to highlight organizations and programs that enhance and promote a sustainable future for South Carolina. This campaign will provide nearly $400,000 to numerous nonprofits and governmental agencies and highlight global efforts like Earth Day and Arbor Day at the local level.

To celebrate Earth Day, the company is providing $25,000 grants to four organizations that will use the funding to improve trail access in natural areas under their care:

  • South Carolina State Parks: Funding will improve handicap accessibility to Lake Placid at Paris Mountain State Park.

  • The Nature Conservancy in South Carolina: Grant will help build a new 20-mile stretch of trail at Jones Gap State Park called the Gap Creek Extension.

  • Palmetto Trail: Funding will also support the Gap Creek Extension as well as updated trail signage, a trailhead kiosk and future trail planning efforts.

  • Foothills Trails: Grant will help replace existing wooden footbridges throughout the Foothills Trail and upgrade equipment used to manage the trail.

Earlier this month, Duke Energy kicked off the initiative by providing PalmettoPride $100,000 to support the programs in local communities managed by the 37 Keep South Carolina Beautiful affiliate organizations, who focus on litter pick up and beautification throughout their areas.

“Duke Energy is an incredible partner to South Carolina State Parks,” said Paul McCormack, director of South Carolina State Parks. “Accessibility improvements between the Visitors Center and Lake Placid at Paris Mountain will increase opportunities for users with mobility impairments to access a beautiful part of the park, and the Jones Gap Trail extension will help expand some of the best hiking trails in the state. Duke Energy’s support helps us protect more treasured places and – as importantly – it helps ensure we can share those places with more visitors.”

The campaign continued by highlighting TreesUpstate and the Energy Saving Trees Program. Since 2016, Duke Energy Foundation funding has supplied more than 15,000 free trees through the Energy Saving Trees Program, and most recently provided $78,000 in grant funding to support expanding the program through outreach to underrepresented Hispanic communities and translating materials into Spanish.

Duke Energy employees and retirees are also volunteering their time and efforts throughout the month with these and other organizations to support programs in their local communities.

Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides more than $30 million annually in philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The foundation is funded by Duke Energy shareholders.

Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of America’s largest energy holding companies. Its electric utilities serve 8.2 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky, and collectively own 50,000 megawatts of energy capacity. Its natural gas unit serves 1.6 million customers in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio and Kentucky. The company employs 28,000 people.

Duke Energy is executing an aggressive clean energy transition to achieve its goals of net-zero methane emissions from its natural gas business and at least a 50% carbon reduction from electric generation by 2030 and net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The 2050 net-zero goals also include Scope 2 and certain Scope 3 emissions. In addition, the company is investing in major electric grid enhancements and energy storage, and exploring zero-emission power generation technologies such as hydrogen and advanced nuclear.

Duke Energy was named to Fortune’s 2022 “World’s Most Admired Companies” list and Forbes’ “America’s Best Employers” list. More information is available at The Duke Energy News Center contains news releases, fact sheets, photos and videos. Duke Energy’s illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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