May 02, 2018

Dominion Energy employees serve community with Jordan River projects

A group of Dominion Energy employees help install a split rail fence last year along the Jordan River Parkway trail between 200 South and 500 South in a section adopted by the company.                                      Photo courtesy of Darren Shepherd, Dominion Energy|||| A group of Dominion Energy employees help install a split rail fence last year along the Jordan River Parkway trail between 200 South and 500 South in a section adopted by the company. Photo courtesy of Darren Shepherd, Dominion Energy|||| ||||

by Marilyn Shelton

For the past 17 years, Dominion Energy’s Energizing Our Communities initiative has been completing environmental restoration projects. Two recent projects –  a split-rail fence and a pedestrian bridge – were completed in May 2017 and January 2018 near a section of the Jordan River stretching from 200 South to 800 South in Salt Lake City.

Energizing Our Communities is a volunteer effort led by Dominion Energy employees from across the locations that Dominion Energy services. Utah is part of Dominion Energy’s Western Region Footprint, which also encompasses parts of Colorado, Idaho, and Wyoming. This year, around 40 Dominion Energy volunteers from Utah teamed up to build the split-rail fence near the Jordan River.

Nationwide, there were 500 participants in Energizing Our Communities in 18 states. In 2017, local volunteers donated more than 6,000 hours of community service to projects in Utah, said Darren Shepherd, Dominion Energy Corporate Communications Coordinator.

According to Steve Weight, Dominion Energy’s Environmental Specialist, the idea of adopting a section of the Jordan River came about after employees at Dominion’s D.N. Rose Building at 1140 W and 200 S began picking up trash near the building and contacted Salt Lake City Parks and Public Lands, volunteering to adopt a section of the river.

Energizing Our Communities’ Jordan River efforts have included projects such as painting bridges, weeding, fence building, and trash cleanup.

“We have actually been out on the river in canoes, cleaning up. We have done some weeding along there,” said Shepherd.

The split-rail fence was a joint effort funded by the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation, the Jordan River Commission, and Salt Lake City Parks and Public Lands, said Debra Hoyt, Senior Philanthropy Coordinator at Dominion Energy. Using wood fencing materials and cement, volunteers from Energizing Our Communities erected around 2 miles of fencing.

The materials for the project were provided by the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. The fence will protect native plant life along the Jordan River from traffic.

In January, a pedestrian bridge on the Jordan River near 200 South was opened for public access. Dominion Energy sold a small piece of property 18 months ago to allow for the construction of this bridge, said Shepherd.

If Dominion Energy employees want to volunteer through Energizing Our Communities, they can log on to an employee platform, where they can fill out details about themselves, including their hobbies and interests and wait for notification of upcoming events.

“This is an opportunity for employees to recommend a project that has to do with the environment and after they submit their ideas, a few in each area are selected to support and fund through the Dominion Charitable Foundation,” said Hoyt. Restoration projects are managed by regional volunteer coordinators and will be held throughout the entire year.