A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

On National Giving Day, Duke Energy Foundation awards nearly $235,000 to environmental nonprofits

In conjunction with National Giving Day, the Duke Energy Foundation is investing nearly $235,000 in 11 Ohio and Kentucky environmental nonprofit organizations.

The grants will help fund environmental projects, including tree planting, water quality testing, and environmental education programs in the Ohio and Kentucky service territories.

“I’ve seen firsthand how our environmental grants can inspire and create a difference in our community,” said Jim Henning, president, Duke Energy Ohio and Kentucky. “They’re investments in the ongoing and future sustainability of our region.”

One of the grants provides the organization Taking Root with a $25,000 grant to partner with the Arbor Day Foundation’s Energy-Saving Trees program. The initiative will help homeowners identify the ideal location near their home structure to plant a tree to maximize energy savings and other environmental benefits.

“Funding from the Duke Energy Foundation means Taking Root can offer trees to residents in low-canopy neighborhoods, helping them to maximize long-term energy savings and other environmental benefits while increasing our region’s canopy diversity,” said Matt Stenger, executive director, Taking Root.

Another grant is for $20,000 for the Lincoln Heights Comprehensive Development Corporation to create a bioswale at the corner of Lindy and Leggett streets to teach 20 students about sustainability and have them help in selecting and planting the materials for the project.

“This generous grant from the Duke Energy Foundation will help us develop 20 Champions for the Environment in Lincoln Heights to begin creating a sustainable eco-district in our historic African-American village,” said Linda Matthews, executive director, Lincoln Heights Development Corporation.

“It will also help us improve air quality and reduce air pollution by increasing the tree cover, and provide both beauty and food for residents with fruit trees, vegetables and flower plantings.”

Annually, the Duke Energy Foundation funds over $2 million in charitable grants, matching gifts and volunteer grants in Ohio and Kentucky. These grants are distributed across each of its priority areas, including environment, community impact and K-12 education.

Environmental grant recipients

These organizations received grants to improve the environment in their local communities:

Thomas More College – $49,910 will be used to educate K-12 students and the general public on the best management practices to reduce storm water runoff, to treat wastewater on site, and to conserve overall water resources. 

Taking Root – $25,000 to be used for a tree planting initiative through an online mapping tool that assists residents in identifying the ideal location to plant a tree, which maximizes energy savings and other environmental benefits.

Ohio River Foundation – $10,000 to be used for a program that educates students on the care of freshwater mussels and how to support species repatriation to Ohio River watershed rivers, creeks and streams.

FORE — studying water quality (Photo provided)

Foundation for Ohio River Education – $20,000 to be used for River Research, Education and Adventure Charters, which connects students to the Ohio River through hands-on water quality testing aboard Queen City Riverboats.

Civic Garden Center – $15,000 to bring a hands-on classroom, which will use an urban water cycle model and a digital display of research being conducted on-site, to educate students and adults about environmental sustainability.

Miami University – $20,000 to fund a program that focuses on helping students learn how to understand, analyze and solve interdisciplinary business challenges in the energy sector.

University of Cincinnati Foundation – $25,000 to create hands-on field biology experiments with middle and high school science teachers that will help integrate their research concepts into science courses.

Cincinnati Nature Center – $25,000 to help preserve native habitats for plants and wildlife that will expand the Nature Center’s capacity and serve visitors with additional trails and educational opportunities.

Cincinnati Community ToolBank – $10,000 to be used to ensure local nonprofits will have access to more than 10,000 tools to better equip their volunteers and get the job done.

Woodlawn Community Improvement Corporation – $15,000 to help build an outdoor musical park featuring free-standing instruments designed for children and adults of all abilities.

Lincoln Heights Comprehensive Development Corporation – $20,000 to help construct a bioswale in the community that will be used as a tool to teach students about sustainability and ecosystems intended to be self-sufficient.

Duke Energy Ohio/Kentucky’s operations provide electric service to about 850,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in a 3,000-square-mile service area and natural gas service to approximately 529,000 customers. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

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