Union Gas grant supports conservation program that teaches St. Clair Region youth to be water-wise

$10,000 awarded to conservation/safety program as part of Centennial celebration

DAWN-EUPHEMIA, ON, Sept. 30, 2011 /CNW/ - A conservation and safety program that will teach elementary school students in the St. Clair Region to be more aware of the power of water - especially during the spring thaw - is getting some help from Union Gas, through a grant awarded as part of the company's Centennial celebrations.

The Centennial Signature grant of $10,000 is one of 10 being awarded across the province by Union Gas to support charitable and non-profit projects focused on environmental education, conservation and research.

The grant was awarded today to the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority for its Spring Water Awareness Program, which will see Conservation Education staff visiting schools in Lambton and Kent counties to teach students from kindergarten to Grade 6 about the dangers of being close to the edge of swelling streams, creeks and rivers during the spring thaw.

The program, which is set to begin in March 2012, will also tie in to the provincial science curriculum for each grade level, teaching students about the rich aquatic life in local rivers and streams. About 1,000 students are expected to participate in the program each year.

"This program will help students in the St. Clair Region develop a better awareness of - and respect for - the tremendous power of water, and the abundance of life supported by local streams, creeks and rivers," said Julie Dill, president of Union Gas. "Union Gas is very pleased to mark our Centennial by supporting this valuable and potentially life-saving program. It is our partnership with organizations like the St Clair Region Conservation Authority - and all the communities we serve - that has helped us helped us become one of North America's premier natural gas storage, transmission and distribution companies."

"We're proud of our long history in the St. Clair Region," said Dave Simpson, director of storage and transmission operations for Union Gas. "And we look forward to continuing our strong relationship in these great communities. It is our goal to be their partner of choice."

Today, in front of a class of Grade 3/4 students at Dawn-Euphemia School, Dill and Simpson presented the $10,000 cheque to Andy Bruziewicz, Chair of the Conservation Authority and Bill Bilton, the mayor of Dawn-Euphemia Township and a board member of the Conservation Authority and Foundation.

"We are very pleased with our partnership with Union Gas," Bruziewicz said. "These funds will be a great help in advancing our efforts to teach school children in the region about the importance of being safe around watercourses, and of the importance for all of us to continue to strive for healthy watersheds."

Also present at the event were school board officials, other representatives from the conservation authority, Union Gas employees, government officials and other members of the public.

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 in 2011, is the second largest natural gas utility in Canada, serving 1.3 million customers across Ontario.

Union Gas works in over 400 Ontario communities, including many in the St. Clair Region. The company is committed to contributing to the communities where its employees live and work 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, Union Gas supports the United Way of Sarnia-Lambton, the Sarnia-Lambton branch of Junior Achievement of South-Western Ontario and the Children's Safety Village in Sarnia. Through its $1,000 Centennial Community Grant program, the company has also supported the St. Clair River Trail Committee's "Be Safe Be Seen" bicycle safety program. And through its annual Helping Hands in Action program, Union Gas employees and retirees have contributed many volunteer hours in the region, including helping the St. Clair Region Conservation Foundation plant trees to reduce soil erosion, completing three gardening and landscaping projects at Dawn-Euphemia School and two others at St. Phillip School in Petrolia.

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, Public Affairs and Media Relations Union Gas Limited
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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