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Kalmia Gardens to benefit Hartsville waterways with $77,500 grant from Duke Energy

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Hartsville, SC – Kalmia Gardens of Coker College received a $77,500 grant to continue its commitment to protecting and enhancing regional waterways and the environment. The grant is part of the Water Resources Fund, a $10 million, multi-year commitment from Duke Energy that will leave a legacy of improved water quality, quantity and conservation in the Carolinas and neighboring regions.

Storm drain infrastructure typically results in the concentration of high flows of water at discrete outfall points. Older methods of handling high flow frequently prove to be inadequate to protect against erosion and stream degradation. As a result in our urban watersheds we see impaired habitat, excessive erosion and transport of sediment and nutrients into our waterways. This excessive flow can also compromise infrastructure.

The grant will fund a project to reduce the pollution load entering Black Creek in Hartsville, SC, by implementing a regenerative stormwater conveyance (RSC) system. RSCs are unique in that they have the ability to provide all or some of the full range of typical stormwater management criteria, including groundwater recharge, volume reduction, water quality treatment, channel protection, and flood control. In addition to the hydrologic benefits, RSC restores site ecologies from smaller micro-habitat elements to more significant forest floor systems.

Dan Hill, Assistant Director Kalmia Gardens of Coker College, said, “A core goal of Kalmia Gardens is to protect and preserve habitat. This project would not only restore a native ecological community, but would also help protect Black Creek from urban runoff. It would aid the Gardens in another of its goals, which is to be a leader in environmental education. This project will become part of our outdoor classroom, and we will educate students and the public about urban watersheds and the perils that threaten them. It will also serve as a teaching tool for urban watershed managers and civil engineers. This project would not only bring to light the perils facing our urban watersheds, but also will show a sustainable solution to these problems.”

“The rivers and waterways that power our regional economies are an essential resource that unites us all,” said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy’s South Carolina president. “We look forward to our partnership with Kalmia Gardens of Coker College and the impact this project will have in the Pee Dee region.”

Investment decisions are carefully reviewed by the Water Resources Fund committee, an independent body that includes five environmental experts and two Duke Energy employees. Selected projects are chosen on several criteria, including whether the project is science-based and research-supported.

Duke Energy anticipates two grant announcements per year over the course of the Water Resources Fund. Visit nccommunityfoundation.org for more information on how to apply and register for the session.

For more information, please contact Dan Hill Assistant Director, Kalmia Gardens of Coker College, 843.383.8145, dhill@coker.edu.

About Kalmia Gardens of Coker College

Established in 1933, Kalmia Gardens includes a historic house and a 35-acre public garden. The Thomas E. Hart House, built in 1820 with timber cut from the property, and surrounding gardens are on the National Register of Historic Places. The site boasts a wide array of flora, including the Gardens’ namesake—Kalmia latifolia, Mountain Laurel. Kalmia Gardens is the gateway to the 796-acre Segars-McKinnon Heritage Preserve.

Kalmia Gardens of Coker College is located at 1624 West Carolina Avenue in Hartsville. For more information about Kalmia Gardens call 843-383-8145, visit kalmiagardens.org, or email kalmia@coker.edu.

About Duke Energy Foundation

The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. The foundation provides more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. The foundation’s education focus spans kindergarten to career, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), early childhood literacy and workforce development. It also supports the environment and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders at a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service. For more information, visit http://www.duke-energy.com/foundation.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.

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ABOUT COKER COLLEGE

Coker College is a student-focused, private liberal arts college located in Hartsville, South Carolina. Coker combines round table, discussion-based learning with hands-on experiences to encourage active participation in and out of the classroom. A supportive, close-knit community prepares Coker students with the confidence and practical life skills they need to reach their personal best, in college and beyond.

Founded in 1908, Coker is a bachelor’s and master’s degree-granting institution and competes in 21 NCAA Division II sports. Coker is ranked among the "Best Colleges" in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review, and by Washington Monthly as one of the Southeast's "Best Bang for the Buck" colleges.