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Media inquiries: Please contact Gary Waugh, gary.waugh@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-5045.

The following news release was sent on Aug. 12, 2009, by Columbia Gas of Virginia and the NiSource Charitable Foundation
Date: August 12, 2009

Columbia Gas/NiSource supports Flora Project

Columbia Gas of Virginia and the NiSource Charitable Foundation have awarded the Flora of Virginia Project a $5,000 grant toward creation of plant family treatments for the Flora of Virginia. The Flora of Virginia will compile and describe more than 3,500 plant species native to Virginia. The publication, to be used as a plant identification tool, is due for release in 2012. Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation staff members provide expertise and administrative support to the project.

?We are pleased to provide this donation in support of the Foundation of the Flora of Virginia Project,? said Bob Innes, director of communications and community relations for Columbia Gas of Virginia, based in Chesterfield County. ?The Flora of Virginia will help educate generations of students on the importance of sustaining our environment.?

Innes presented the donation Aug. 12 to J. Christopher Ludwig, director of the Flora Project and a co-author of the Flora. Ludwig is also DCR?s chief biologist.

?We at the Flora Project are delighted to have the support of NiSource,? Ludwig said. ?This grant will help us as we continue writing the Flora.? Virginia has a rich flora, with more than 3,500 plant species grouped into 200 families. Projected publication date for the Flora is 2012.

The NiSource Charitable Foundation provides funding to nonprofit organizations making a difference in the communities in which NiSource companies operate or provide service. Columbia Gas of Virginia is one of NiSource?s nine energy-distribution companies and serves 240,000 customers in Virginia. For more information, please visit www.nisource.com or www.columbiagasva.com.

For more information about the Flora of Virginia Project, visit floraofvirginia.org.

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