SoCalGas announces 2017 grant recipients

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Utility awards grants totaling more than $500,000 to 42 nonprofits for projects focused on clean air, energy, or water

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced the winners of the company’s 2017 Environmental Champions Initiative, which awards one-time grants of up to $25,000 for projects focused on clean air, energy, or water. Forty-two nonprofits will receive grants totaling over $500,000 for projects that will be implemented throughout 2018.

“SoCalGas is proud to support innovative projects that provide cleaner air, water, and energy,” said Trisha Muse, director of community relations at SoCalGas. “We looked for unique projects that would have a measurable and positive impact on the environment, engage the community, and help improve the environment in underserved communities.”

One of the grants was awarded to Community Conservation Solutions (CCS), which will support the development of a four-acre natural park at the Ramona Gardens Housing Development in Northern Boyle Heights in Los Angeles.

“Creating a natural park at Ramona Gardens—one of the most polluted communities in California—will improve air quality, clean stormwater, reduce noise from the nearby freeway, and give children and families a beautiful place to play and walk,” said Esther Feldman, President of CCS.

The San Bernardino Valley College (SBVC) Foundation, another grant recipient, will use the funds to purchase equipment necessary to expand SBVC’s compressed natural gas, electric, and hybrid heavy-duty engine repair training program.

“This will allow students to gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment in our program,” said Albert Maniaol, Dean of Applied Technology, Transportation & Culinary Arts at SBVC. “The partnership between SBVC and SoCalGas is a win-win for students, who are gaining skills to be competitive in the workforce, and the community, which will benefit from cleaner technology in heavy-duty trucks.”

Since its inception in 2015, the Environmental Champions Initiative has awarded over 120 grants totaling more than $1.5 million. The program is funded by Sempra shareholders.

The following organizations are just a few of the recipients of a 2017 SoCalGas Environmental Champions Initiative grant:

-CCS: SoCalGas’ grant will help CCS develop the concept plan for a natural park at the Ramona Gardens Housing Development in Northern Boyle Heights.

-Cal Poly Pomona Foundation: Funds will help Cal Poly Pomona develop a point-of-use water treatment unit and raise awareness about water reuse through local outreach activities.

-Los Angeles Conservation Corps.: SoCalGas funding will support a food waste prevention and rescue project, which will distribute edible food waste to a local food bank and expired food to an anaerobic digester for clean power generation. Up to 2.5 tons of food waste per day will be diverted from landfills.

-Lot to Spot: The grant will enable the organization and its partners to plant 75 trees in designated parkways, which will help create carbon sequestration to clean the air, in Lennox.

-SBVC Foundation: SoCalGas’ contribution will allow SBVC to purchase additional tools, equipment, and training modules to expand its heavy-duty engine repair training program.

-Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation: The grant will support the organization’s “Table-to-Farm Composing for Cleaner Air” project, which allows restaurants to deliver their organic waste to a four-bin compost system at Environmental Charter School in Inglewood for composting.

-Trust for Public Land: SoCalGas funding will help the organization’s “Green Alleys” program, which repurposes neighborhood alleys into vibrant, outdoor areas.

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