Wells Fargo recently awarded Audubon Arizona and Grand Canyon Association grants for $35,000 and $30,000, respectively through its Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities.

Both organizations were selected from among 61 environmental nonprofits to receive grant dollars totaling $2.5 million from the 2015 Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program, which supports projects focused on land and water conservation, energy efficiency, infrastructure, and educational outreach in communities across America.

The Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities grant program represents a five-year, $15 million partnership with National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Launched in 2012, the program awards grants to local organizations to promote environmental stewardship and strengthen communities across the United States. It is part of Wells Fargo’s commitment to provide $100 million in grant funding by 2020 to nonprofits and university programs focused on environmental sustainability.

“We believe that helping our communities become more resilient and better stewards of the environment will improve the long-term quality of life of our customers and team members,” said Pam Conboy, lead region president for Wells Fargo in Arizona. “We’re proud to support both Audubon Arizona and Grand Canyon Association both in grant dollars and support from our local employees, who volunteer their time and efforts through Green for Arizona Team Member Network.”

Audubon Arizona will use the $35,000 grant to fund the Audubon Arizona Conservation Workdays program.  The program promotes a sustainable future for Phoenix residents by facilitating community-based projects that create and enhance bird habitats, educate a diverse volunteer workforce to promote native plants, and inspire participants to take action to benefit a shared environment.  Conservation projects will occur at the 600-acre Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area in south Phoenix, plus other public spaces in the community.

”Conservation Workdays are genuine environmental solutions where hundreds of citizen-scientists improve the environment every month,” says Audubon Arizona Vice President and Executive Director Sonia Perillo.  “We’re delighted to receive this support to affirm and expand this program as a point of pride for the community.”

The Grand Canyon Association’s $30,000 grant will be used to restore historic trails, while developing a skilled workforce that can sustain and support Grand Canyon’s well-loved and hiked trails that draw thousands of visitors each year. Work crews, comprised of young men and women, will complete restoration work on approximately 25 acres. A team of youth will complete specific tasks, during the spring of 2017. Once their service term is completed, the young men and women will then earn the preferred hire status designation given for national service members.

“This generous donation to the Grand Canyon is an example of how committed Wells Fargo is to the community and shows the importance of public private partnerships,” said Susan Schroeder, CEO of Grand Canyon Association. “This donation goes a long way to keeping Grand Canyon’s trails safe and available for the public to enjoy.”

Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities is in its fifth year.  To date, the program has made grants to 267 nonprofit organizations for 312 projects, from Alaska to Florida, and California to Maine. Over the life of the five-year program, grantees will have restored more than 83,000 acres of habitat, planted almost a million trees and engaged hundreds of thousands of community members in environmental protection activities nationwide.  In addition to the Wells Fargo Foundation’s $15 million investment, NFWF leveraged an additional $9.7 million in matching dollars during its five-year program administration.