For students from Conestoga High School in Berwyn, a recent visit to Maysie's Farm Conservation Center in Glenmoore was more than just a typical field trip. It was a hands-on lesson in environmental sustainability where, through the center's Down to Earth Farming program, students learned about filtering soil, planting seeds and picking vegetables, and how to be responsible stewards of the environment.
Because of the conservation center's efforts, it is one of eight nonprofit organizations in Pennsylvania to receive $72,500 in grants from the Verizon Foundation to support programs designed to increase awareness of environmental sustainability initiatives in local communities.
"At Verizon, we believe that environmental sustainability is something to think about every day, not just once a year on Earth Day," said Jim Gowen, chief sustainability officer at Verizon. "Sustainability needs to be an ongoing part of everyone's life, whether it is turning off the lights, recycling, volunteering in the community or sharing ideas for going green."
In addition to Maysie's Farm Conservation Center, the other grant recipients are:
- Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, Carlisle
- Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education, Philadelphia
- Lawrenceville United, Pittsburgh
- Major Artery Revitalization Committee, Philadelphia
- Pennsylvania Friends of Agriculture Foundation, Camp Hill
- The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, Philadelphia
- Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy, Schwenksville
Gowen cited the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy as another outstanding example of sustainability initiatives in action. The conservancy has invited students and teachers from throughout the Perkiomen Creek's 362-square-mile watershed to participate in a My Water video competition via the conservancy's email burst service, Facebook and its website. Video submissions illustrating why water is important and why it is vital to protect water supplies are due on Earth Day, April 22, 2012. Judging and the awarding and installation of the grand prize, a new rain garden at the winning school, will take place in May.
"Verizon is proud to partner with all these nonprofit organizations because when it comes to sustainability, one leads by example, and our joint endeavors will help to expand outreach in the community," Gowen said. "Verizon is committed to a 360-degree view of our processes, our people and our products to improve our actions when it comes to our impact on the environment."
The Verizon Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Verizon, uses its technology, financial resources and partnerships to address critical social issues, with a focus on education and domestic violence prevention. In 2010, the foundation awarded nearly $67 million to nonprofit agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Through Verizon Volunteers, one of the nation's largest employee volunteer programs, Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered nearly 6 million hours of community service since 2000. For more information on the foundation, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.