YMCA of Greenville to Benefit Reedy River through $80,000 Grant from Duke Energy

Bill Barringer, director of new facilities development; Lillian Darby, YMCA of Greenville member and donor/advocate; Jamie Inman, chief mission advancement officer; Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy State President, South Carolina; and Nikki Grumbine, board president, Friends of Reedy River

Grant allows YMCA to expand public awareness of and participation in environmental stewardship with new outdoor classrooms and science stations at Caine Halter Family branch

GREENVILLE, S.C. - May 16, 2017 — YMCA of Greenville announces today that it received a $80,075 grant to continue its commitment to protecting and enhancing regional waterways and the environment by creating better access to the Reedy River with outdoor classrooms and science stations along the Swamp Rabbit Trail at its Caine Halter Family branch. Environmental stewardship of the Reedy River is a priority for the YMCA of Greenville under its Social Responsibility focus area. The grant is part of the Water Resources Fund, a $10 million commitment from Duke Energy.

In collaboration with Friends of the Reedy River, the YMCA has developed a master plan, already in progress at the Caine Halter Family YMCA, to improve water quality, quantity and conservation through a variety of rain gardens and other elements. The grant from Duke Energy’s Water Resources Fund will help the YMCA of Greenville bring attention to the water quality of the Reedy River by allowing YMCA youth and families, as well as the community at large, access to engage with the river, furthering their understanding of the impact urbanization has on waterways.

Environmentally-friendly removal of invasive plants and trees leading to the Reedy River’s shoreline is already underway. A terraced walkway going down to the river will lead to a new half-moon shaped granite council ring, which will serve as an outdoor classroom right on the river. Additionally, new science stations will also be installed. The project is expected to be completed late summer 2017 in time for 3,000 day camp participants in YMCA of Greenville’s environmental educational programs.

The YMCA will increase its collaborative educational opportunities among Friends of the Reedy River, Trees Greenville, Clemson Cooperative Extension Service, Roper Mountain Science Center, Greenville County Schools, and other community partners.

YMCA of Greenville is one of 14 organizations across North and South Carolina to collectively receive more than $1 million in the fifth Water Resources Fund grant announcement. Duke Energy’s Water Resources Fund is a multi-year commitment that will leave a legacy of improved water quality, quantity and conservation in the Carolinas and neighboring regions.

“Thanks to Duke Energy’s Water Resources Fund grant, we are able to further educate more than 19,000 YMCA and community members, as well as the more than half million who pass the Y on the Swamp Rabbit Trail each year, to what their role is to protect the valuable resource our waterways are,” said Scot Baddley, president and chief executive officer, YMCA of Greenville. “We thank Duke Energy for its support and are eager to launch this project so that we can continue improving the water quality of the Reedy River and sharing how environment stewardship positively impacts our community.”

“Duke Energy is committed to protecting and restoring the rivers and waterways that are valuable resources for our communities and the regional economy,” said Cari Boyce, president of the Duke Energy Foundation. “We look forward to our partnership with YMCA of Greenville and the impact this grant will have in the Upstate of South Carolina.”

Investment decisions are carefully reviewed by the Water Resources Fund committee, an independent body that includes five environmental experts and two Duke Energy employees. Selected projects are chosen on several criteria, including whether the project is science-based and research-supported.

Duke Energy anticipates two grant announcements per year over the course of the Water Resources Fund. Visit nccommunityfoundation.org for more information on how to apply and register for the session.

###

About the YMCA of Greenville SC
The YMCA of Greenville is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families, and communities. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves Greenville’s health and well-being and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Begun in 1876, the Y serves more than 70,000 people annually through programs that include Afterschool, Resident Camp and Day Camp, Aquatics, Youth and Adult Sports, and Health and Wellness. Programs are offered through four family branches, as well as the Verdae YMCA, Y Camp Greenville, Judson Community Center, the Adams Mill Program Center and Hollingsworth Outdoor Center. The Y is also home to Y Teen Services and the SC Youth in Government program.

For more information about the YMCA of Greenville, visit ymcagreenville.org, or call
(864) 412-0288.

About Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. The foundation provides more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. The foundation’s education focus spans kindergarten to career, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), early childhood literacy and workforce development. It also supports the environment and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders at a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service. For more information, visit http://www.duke-energy.com/foundation.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com.

The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.

Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

###