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UVa-Wise receives Dominion Foundation grant

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise received a $30,000 grant from the Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion, which will provide water quality education opportunities in the city of Norton.

The grant was among $1 million awarded by the foundation to institutions of higher education this year in seven states where Dominion conducts business.

Representatives of UVa-Wise received the award at an Aug. 16 luncheon at the Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center that Dominion is building at St Paul.

“Dominion is privileged to support college-level learning,” said Virginia M. Board, president of The Dominion Foundation. “We are particularly interested in funding action-oriented projects that produce results in energy conservation and the preservation of the environment.”

Norton plans to build a 1.25 mile River Walk along the Guest River, which will serve as a riparian buffer to prevent the runoff of sediment and pollutants from coal mining, industrial, commercial and residential property bordering the river’s banks. Construction of the River Walk will provide UVa-Wise an opportunity to help fulfill part of its mission, which is to help lead efforts in regional environmental stewardship.

With the aid of the Dominion grant, UVa-Wise students will conduct a one-year preliminary study of the area proposed for the River Walk. Students will conduct a biodiversity survey of the project area, including an assessment of soil and water quality.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Dominion Foundation on this important project,” said UVa-Wise Chancellor David J. Prior. “It will effectively create an outdoor classroom in Southwest Virginia that will provide opportunities for UVa-Wise students and faculty to join K-12 students, teachers and parents in work that is educational, environmentally responsible and socially engaging.”

Dominion, its charitable foundation and its employees last year donated $24 million and more than 150,000 volunteer hours in programs that helped improve the quality of life for people in the states in which Dominion operates. The Dominion Foundation’s focus areas include preservation of natural resources, work force development and education, diversity initiatives, neighborhood and community development, and basic needs for food and shelter.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 28,200 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 15 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.