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The Nature Conservancy and Darden Restaurants Partner to Protect Fresh Water in New Jersey

The Nature Conservancy’s New Jersey chapter received a $2,000 grant as part of the Restaurant Community Grants program from the Darden Restaurants Foundation, Inc.


Chester, NJ | April 02, 2014

The Nature Conservancy’s New Jersey chapter, which has protected more than 55,000 acres of vital natural resources in the state, announced today it has been selected to receive a $2,000 grant as part of the Restaurant Community Grants program from the Darden Restaurants Foundation, Inc., the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants. The grants program, now in its third year, empowers each restaurant in the Darden family of brands to help award a $1,000 grant to support local community programs, and The Nature Conservancy was chosen by Olive Gardens in Wayne and Piscataway. The donation will help The Nature Conservancy to perform critical work in its Blair Creek Preserve in Sussex and Warren Counties, improving the health of a tributary stream of the Paulins Kill River that feeds into one of region’s natural treasures, the Delaware River.

Darden’s Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard House brands participated in the program. Many restaurants and brands worked together to award one nonprofit organization with a larger grant and make a greater impact in their community. Nonprofits receiving grants support one of Darden’s three key focus areas: education, preservation of natural resources and hunger relief.

“The Darden grant helps us protect one of our most precious natural resources--clean drinking water,” said Barbara Brummer, The Nature Conservancy’s state director in New Jersey. “Water from the stream at Blair Creek ultimately ends up in the Delaware River, which provides fresh water for 17 million people every day, so it is critical that the stream remain clean and free-flowing. We are proud to be recognized and supported by Darden Restaurants to help make that happen.”

“We strive to make a positive impact in all the communities our restaurants serve,” said Gene Lee, Darden’s president and chief operating officer. “Our employees are incredibly passionate about getting directly involved in their local communities, and our Restaurant Community Grants program enables each of our restaurant teams to make a difference right in their own backyard.”

The Nature Conservancy’s Blair Creek Preserve, located at the base of the Kittatinny Mountains, features a 1.3 mile trail winding through deciduous forest, beaver ponds, rocky streams and expansive wetland meadows. Visitor information and more about The Nature Conservancy in New Jersey can be found at www.nature.org/newjersey. For more information about the Darden Foundation, please visit www.dardenfoundation.com.

About The Nature Conservancy
The Nature Conservancy is the world’s largest nonprofit conservation organization, working around the globe since 1951 to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. We operate in all 50 states and more than 35 countries, with an approach that is rooted in science and pursued in a pragmatic style. In New Jersey, we have protected more than 55,000 acres of vital natural resources. Our focus in the state is to secure freshwater, restore healthy coastal environments, safeguard critical lands and reduce impacts of climate change.

About Darden Restaurants
Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), owns and operates more than 2,100 restaurants that generate over $8.5 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 200,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2014, Darden was named to the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for the fourth year in a row. Our restaurant brands – Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V's and Yard House – reflect the rich diversity of those who dine with us. Our brands are built on deep insights into what our guests want. For more information, please visit www.darden.com.

The Darden Foundation
The Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation is the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants, Inc. The Darden Foundation’s mission is to maintain a spirit of service and community engagement as defining characteristics of Darden’s family of restaurants – Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard House. Since 1995, the Darden Foundation has awarded more than $71 million in grants to leading nonprofit organizations that align with its mission and community priorities: Recipe for Success®, Preservation of Natural Resources and Good Neighbor grants. Through the Darden Harvest program, Darden Restaurants has also donated more than 66 million pounds of food to hunger relief agencies across the U.S. and Canada. In 2011, the Darden Foundation introduced the Restaurant Community Grants program that is dedicated to supporting local nonprofit organizations in the hundreds of communities where we live and serve. For more information, please visit www.dardenfoundation.com.
 


The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org

Contact information

Mary Conti
The Nature Conservancy
908-955-0357
mconti@tnc.org

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