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Union Gas grant supports conservation programs for youths in Eastern Ontario

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Union Gas

Union Gas grant supports conservation programs for youths in Eastern Ontario
Union Gas is helping two eastern Ontario conservation authorities raise awareness among young people about the importance of protecting local watersheds. As part of the company's 100th anniversary celebrations, a Centennial Signature grant of $10,000 is being shared between Quinte Conservation and the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority.
PHOTO CREDIT - UnionGas.com

Kingston - Oct. 31, 2011 - Union Gas is helping two eastern Ontario conservation authorities raise awareness among young people about the importance of protecting local watersheds.

As part of the company's 100th anniversary celebrations, a Centennial Signature grant of $10,000 is being shared between Quinte Conservation and the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority. This grant is one of 10 being awarded across the province by Union Gas this year to support charitable and non-profit projects focused on environmental education, conservation and research.

The grant was awarded today to the Quinte conservation group for its Stream of Dreams and Yellow Fish Road programs, and to the Cataraqui conservation authority to help support and enhance its watershed-based programs.

"We are pleased to be supporting these local conservation authorities with our Centennial grant," said Julie Dill, president of Union Gas. "It's through partnering with organizations like these - and all the communities we serve - that we have become one of North America's premier natural gas storage, transmission and distribution companies over the past century."

The Quinte conservation programs are aimed at educating communities, particularly youth, about water protection. For example, this year the Stream of Dreams program is helping 1,250 students at four Quinte-area schools learn more about the importance of protecting the local watershed.

"The money we received from Union Gas will allow us to continue to provide quality, interactive environmental watershed education to the young people of our communities," said Nicole Campbell, the group's conservation education co-ordinator.

The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority provides a wide variety of programs, including water management, environmental planning, forestry, habitat protection, conservation education and outdoor recreation.

The Union Gas grant will support the authority's Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area in Kingston, where more than 6,000 students from kindergarten to Grade 12 participate in conservation education programs each year, and more than 10,000 visitors take part in an annual Maple Madness program. The grant will be used to purchase educational materials, such as bug boxes and insect magnifier jars, build display units for taxidermy and nature artifacts, and improve and replace interpretive signs in the area's sugar bush.

"The Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority would like to thank Union Gas for their generous contribution to our conservation education programs," said Stephen Knechtel, the conservation authority's general manager. "The company's Centennial grant will help us give the thousands of school children and other visitors we welcome at the Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area in Kingston each year an even better experience."

Today, Knechtel and Campbell each accepted their $5,000 cheques on behalf of their organizations during a Centennial celebration at the Union Gas district office in Kingston, to mark Union Gas' 100 years of providing safe, reliable and affordable service to communities across Ontario. The festivities were also attended by Union Gas employees past and present, industry partners, government officials and other members of the public.

"We're proud of our long history of service in eastern Ontario," said Danny Watson, manager of Union Gas' eastern district. "And we look forward to continuing our strong relationship in these great communities. It is our goal to be their partner of choice."

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 and 2012, 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 eastern Ontario. 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 is a long-time supporter of United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington, United Way of Quinte and United Way of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry. The company also supports the Children's Safety Village in Belleville, the Limestone Learning Foundation and food banks in Cobourg, Quinte and Kingston. And each year, Kingston employees lead a "Beef-on-a-Bun" event that raises money to buy toys, snowsuits, boots and Christmas food hampers for area families in need. Through its annual Helping Hands in Action employee volunteer program, Union Gas employees and retirees have contributed many volunteer hours in the area. Six projects were completed this year, including a landscaping project for Extend-A-Family Kingston, and sprucing up the playground at the Kinsmen/Vincent Massey School in Cornwall.

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.


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