Washington Gas Energy Services, Inc., Sterling Planet and the Pennsylvania Environmental Council celebrated their partnership at the first Pennsylvania tree planting event held Saturday at the Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, Montgomery County.
Students, community members and WGES employees will plant more than 300 native trees and shrubs on the banks of Jenkintown Creek, and a contribution to the PA Carbon Reduction Fund was presented, with $9,125 donated by WGES and $2,500 by Sterling Planet.
The volunteer effort will contribute to improving the air and water quality in the Tookany,Tacony-Frankford Watershed region. The native trees and shrubs will restore 25,000 square feet of stream buffer along 500 feet of Jenkintown Creek, preventing pollution and runoff into the water. The trees will also absorb carbon dioxide from the air.
“The WGES PA Carbon Offsets product improves the local environment while offering residential and commercial customers the option to reduce their carbon footprints,” said Laura Pagliarulo, Manager, Green Products, Washington Gas Energy Services. “Washington Gas Energy Services is committed to continuing to offer unique market-driven solutions that allow our customers the chance to improve our local environment today and into the future.”
WGES PA Carbon Offsets match customers’ natural gas usage with local carbon offsets while also funding future clean air and water projects in Pennsylvania.
A notable feature of the WGES PA Carbon Offsets product is that it results in contributions into the PA Carbon Reduction Fund, managed by PEC, established to fund additional clean air and water projects, such as tree plantings, throughout the state. This distinctive approach creates both current and future benefits for the local environment.
“Community service is central to the educational experience at Abington Friends School, said Rich Nourie, head of school, Abington Friends School. “Our students value the opportunity to make a difference in the local environment right here on our campus.”
WGES PA Carbon Offsets are matched to 5 percent of all residential customers’ natural gas usage and 3.5 percent of all small commercial customers’ natural gas usage in the PECO region, covering Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
Residential and small commercial WGES customers who wish to do more for the environment have the option to choose 100 percent WGES PA Carbon Offsets to counterbalance all the carbon emissions from their natural gas usage. Large commercial customers can customize the percent of their natural gas that is matched with carbon offsets.
“Offering the WGES PA Carbon Offsets product in partnership with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council and Washington Gas Energy Services results in tangible benefits throughout the state,” said Alden Hathaway, senior vice president of business development at Sterling Planet. “Sterling Planet will continue to explore clean energy options that result in local environmental improvements.”
"This creekside buffer project is just the first step in our efforts to work with our partners to protect the Jenkintown Creek,” said Julie Slavet, executive director, Tookany, Tacony, Frankford Watershed Partnership, Inc. “Today's planting would not be possible without the support of all of our funders, volunteers and hosts. Our success across our watershed depends on our ability to engage with stakeholders like the ones we are working with today."
This event is the first of several planned tree plantings supported by the $11,625 donation, with another scheduled at the Four Mills Preserve in Ambler, Pa. on October 25. Part of an ongoing effort to restore a 57-acre floodplain preserve bordering the Wissahickon Creek, next Sunday’s event will entail the planting of 100 native trees and shrubs by approximately 35 volunteers.For more information, visit the WGES PA Carbon Offsets webpage.