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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-2292.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 16, 2011
Contact: Jim Meisner Jr., DCR Public Relations Specialist, (804) 786-8442, jim.meisner@dcr.virginia.gov

Virginia State Parks receive grant from Dominion Foundation to improve three sites
Dominion Foundation support now totals $1 million

(RICHMOND) – Virginia Association for Parks (VAFP) officials announced today receiving a $150,000 grant from the Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources Inc., for projects at three state parks. The grant brings the Dominion Foundation’s support of state parks to more than $1 million and thousands of volunteer hours since the early 1990s.

“Virginia State Parks have a long tradition of partnerships with the private sector, and the Dominion partnership – which began with Dominion employees volunteering in 1991 – is significant because of the impact it has had on the parks and park visitors,” said Secretary of Natural Resources Doug Domenech. “This grant and the support of Dominion employee and retiree volunteers demonstrate that this partnership remains strong and active.”

The grant comes as Virginia celebrates the park system’s 75th anniversary and will be accompanied by approximately 150 Dominion employees and retirees volunteering on projects in Lake Anna, First Landing and Leesylvania state parks.

“I think it’s significant that this historic grant and volunteer support come as we celebrate this milestone in state park history,” said Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation State Parks Director Joe Elton. “Our volunteers, including Dominion volunteers, contributed more than 255,000 volunteer hours in 2010, equaling more than $5 million in staff time.”

“Virginia’s state parks celebrate the natural beauty of the Commonwealth,” said Virginia M. Board, president of the Dominion Foundation. “Dominion employees and retirees join their fellow citizens in enjoying the parks, and the Dominion Foundation is proud of our 20-year partnership to help support the Virginia park system.”

Reflecting Dominion’s long-standing commitment to the environment, Dominion is providing both the grant for the materials and the volunteers for the labor. Volunteers will build fitness trails at Lake Anna State Park in Spotsylvania County and Leesylvania State Park in Prince William County. They will also refurbish an amphitheater and trail boardwalk at First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. Work is expected to be completed before the summer season begins Memorial Day weekend.

Since 1997, VAFP has been the nonprofit umbrella organization for various groups, friends and volunteers supporting the 35 state parks, 59 state natural areas, and the 22 national parks, monuments and historic sites across Virginia.

“Dominion has been an important partner with the Virginia Association for Parks in working to provide the state park system with infrastructure that would not otherwise be available,” said VAFP President Johnny Finch. “For example, Dominion, VAFP and Imperial Multimedia partnered to provide the park system with 35 automated interactive information stations, one at each state park, as well as the website, www.virginiaoutdoors.com, which includes the information on each of the touch screen information stations and much more. Dominion provided some $700,000 to fund these projects. No state monies were available for these projects or for the projects that will be funded with this recent Dominion grant.”

The 35 award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

For more information about Virginia State Parks, visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.

Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 27,600 megawatts of generation. Dominion operates the nation's largest natural gas storage system and serves retail energy customers in 14 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at www.dom.com.

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Editors: Project volunteer days are May 17 at Leesylvania State Park, May 18 at First Landing State Park and May 19 at Lake Anna State Park.

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