Bell Atlantic Gives $2,500 to The Mountain Institute

Bell Atlantic Gives $2,500 to The Mountain Institute

West Virginia Agency Helps Preserve Mountain
Environments, Cultures

March 30, 1999


Paul Miller,

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Mountain Institute (TMI), based in
Franklin, W.Va., is the recipient of a $2,500 grant from the Bell Atlantic
Foundation. The funds will be used to underwrite programs that conserve
the environment and the cultural heritage of the Appalachian Mountains.

"Everything that we are as West Virginians is in the mountains around us.
It is our heritage, and it is our future. I applaud the work that TMI is doing
to preserve this," said Dennis Bone, president and CEO of Bell Atlantic -
West Virginia.

Noting that Bell Atlantic has been an ardent supporter of The Mountain
Institute over the years, Alton Byers, TMI's director of Appalachian
programs and the Spruce Knob Mountain Center, was delighted to hear
that the Bell Atlantic Foundation is continuing that commitment this year.

"By promoting good stewardship for our Appalachian Mountain
environment, communities and heritage, Bell Atlantic is exemplifying
what it means to be a good corporate citizen," he said. "Support from
organizations like the Bell Atlantic Foundation is vital for the continuation
of these programs, designed to strengthen communities and conservation
through education."

TMI provides environmental education and leadership training for
hundreds of elementary, high school and college students annually. The
contribution from the Bell Atlantic Foundation will be allocated to the
West Virginia Scholar's Academy, a leadership development program for
rising high school seniors.

TMI operates the 400-acre Spruce Knob Mountain Center in Circleville,
W.Va., which is used for educational programs, international conferences
and ecological research. This spring, the center will install a state-of-the-
art interactive meteorological station, stream-monitoring station,
archaeological tour, and wildlife habitat improvement projects.

TMI's work extends beyond West Virginia and the Appalachian
Mountains. It also offers community-based conservation and sustainable
mountain community development programs in the Andes and the
Himalayan Mountains. TMI was instrumental in creating The Mountain
Forum, which serves a worldwide network of people who are committed
to the preservation of mountain environments and cultural heritage. For
more information, visit www.mountain.org on the Internet.

The Bell Atlantic Foundation supports a variety of projects domestically
and internationally, with an emphasis on new technology applications in
education, health and human services, the arts and humanities, and civic
development in the communities served by Bell Atlantic. For more
information, visit www.bellatlanticfoundation.com on the Internet.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 42 million telephone access lines
and 8.6 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies
are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 23 countries.