Union Gas Centennial Grant helps build forest trail at popular conservation area in Timmins

$2,500 grant will support new self-guided tour at Hersey Lake Conservation Area

TIMMINS, ON, Nov. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - A local conservation area popular with walkers, cyclists, school groups and outdoor clubs will get a new forest trail, thanks to a Union Gas grant awarded as part of the company's Centennial celebration.

The grant is going to the Wintergreen Fund for Conservation, which raises funds for the Mattagami Region Conservation Authority's community conservation and recreation projects.

The money will help build a new self-guided forest management trail at the Hersey Lake Conservation Area, which welcomes about 750 people a day during the summer months. Plans for the new trail include rest areas with benches and signs that will help visitors learn more about the natural environment.

This Centennial grant of $2,500 is one of more than 110 awards - totalling $300,000 - being awarded this year to charitable and non-profit projects across the province to mark the company's 100 years of service to more than 400 Ontario communities.

"Adding this new trail will help ensure the Hersey Lake Conservation Area continues to be a great resource for the community of Timmins," said Julie Dill, president of Union Gas. "Our strong relationships with the communities we serve, like Timmins, have helped us become one of North America's premier natural gas storage, transmission and distribution companies. We are extremely pleased to support this community project during our Centennial year."

"The conservation authority is thrilled to have Union Gas come on board as a community conservation partner with a Centennial grant," said Kees Pols, general manager of the conservation authority. "The new self-guided forest management trail at the Hersey Lake Conservation Area will give visitors the chance to learn more about our northern forests and how we conserve, protect and manage them."

Dill and Ian Ross, Union Gas' district manager for the northwest area, joined Pols today at the conservation authority's headquarters to present the grant as part of the company's province-wide Centennial celebrations.

"We're proud of our strong relationship with the community of Timmins," said Ross. "And we look forward to continuing to build on that relationship for many more years to come."

Union Gas, a Spectra Energy Company, was founded in 1911 through the amalgamation of three southern Ontario local gas distribution companies. Today, Union Gas - named one of Canada's Top 100 employers for the second year running - is the second-largest natural gas utility in Canada, serving 1.3 million customers across Ontario.

Union Gas is committed to contributing to the many communities where its employees live and work - including those in the northwest - by supporting direct and indirect employment, offering energy efficiency programs, and helping local organizations through sponsorships, charitable giving and hundreds of volunteer hours.

For example, in the northwest, Union Gas supports organizations and programs including the Porcupine United Way and the Northwestern Ontario Regional Science Fair. Through its Helping Hands in Action program, Union Gas employees and retirees completed nine projects in the northwest this year, including ones for the Timmins Community Garden, the Ojibway and Cree Cultural Centre in Timmins and the Connaught & District Pioneer Museum.

Leading up to the company's 100th anniversary on Dec. 19, a year-long Centennial celebration is rolling out across the province, bringing together employees, retirees and community residents. Visit uniongas.com/centennial for more information.

About Union Gas

Union Gas Limited, a Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) company, is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario with assets of over $5.6 billion and approximately 2,200 employees. For more information, visit uniongas.com.

SOURCE Union Gas Limited

For further information:

Andrea Stass
Manager of External Affairs and Media Relations
Ph: 519 436-5490 or 1-800-571-8446 ext. 5490
Cell: 519 365-1010
Fax: 519 436-4621
Email: astass@uniongas.com


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