JACKSON, Mich., April 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Consumers Energy Foundation celebrated Earth Day today by providing $500,000 for three projects that will make a significant impact on Michigan's environment -- protecting habitat for Michigan's wildlife, planting 100,000 trees and preserving freshwater resources.
The Michigan Nature Association, Conservation Resource Alliance and Michigan United Conservation Clubs are the first recipients of the Foundation's Planet Awards. The grants aim to preserve, restore and protect Michigan's natural resources.
"Consumers Energy has made a Triple Bottom Line commitment to people, the planet and Michigan's prosperity. Our Planet Awards represent that commitment in action, working with great Michigan organizations to protect our land, water and air," said Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy's president and CEO. "We are excited to support these three projects as we all work together to preserve Michigan's natural beauty."
The three award recipients are:
- Michigan Nature Association ($250,000) – The Protecting Habitat Today for People and Wildlife Tomorrow project will protect, restore and enhance 575 acres of critical habitat for rare, threatened and endangered plants and animals in eight Michigan counties. The Consumers Energy Foundation has previously supported the association's work to save Michigan's most vulnerable species, including the spotted turtle, Karner blue butterfly, eastern praire fringed orchid and others.
- Conservation Resource Alliance ($150,000) – The Wild Roots project aims to plant 100,000 native Michigan trees over five years. The planting effort will fortify forested watersheds in northern Michigan, will reduce water runoff by nearly 8 million gallons and provide seed stocks for the next generation of forest. Consumers Energy volunteers participated today in the effort's first tree planting in Traverse City.
- Michigan United Conservation Clubs ($100,000) – The new On the Water program will help Michigan residents connect with their waterways through about a dozen stream and riverbed clean-ups, plus focus on education, outreach and recycling. The Consumers Energy Foundation has previously supported a similar MUCC program called On the Ground with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division, which enhances habitat on public land.
The Planet Awards are the first of three $500,000 grant allocations this year totaling $1.5 million. Requests for proposals will be announced later this year for the People Awards and Prosperity Awards.
Consumers Energy is committed to building a sustainable future for Michigan. Last year, the energy provider announced its Clean Energy Plan, to eliminate the use of coal to generate electricity and to reduce carbon emissions by 90 percent.
The company also created five-year environmental goals for Michigan water, waste and land, including:
- Saving 1 billion gallons of water
- Reducing waste to landfills by 35 percent
- Enhancing, restoring or protecting 5,000 acres of land in Michigan
The Consumers Energy Foundation is Consumers Energy's charitable arm. The Consumers Energy Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what's most important to Michigan – its people, our planet and Michigan's prosperity.
In 2018, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy and its employees and retirees contributed more than $18.5 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.
Consumers Energy, Michigan's largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.
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