Keep Covington Beautiful (KCB) has been selected to receive a 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 award a $1,000 grant to support local community programs. The donation received through the local Olive Garden restaurant will enable KCB to continue work on the Blue Swamp Creek Nature Trail project at the Covington Recreation Complex.
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. Nonprofits receiving grants support one of Darden’s three key focus areas: education, preservation of natural resources and hunger relief.
Keep Covington Beautiful will use the grant funds to create a demonstration garden near the trail entrance featuring native plants that are being lost to construction and development. Information will be provided explaining how these plants provide food or shelter for wildlife, help to filter pollutants from run-off into waterways or beautify natural areas and home gardens.
The objectives of the Blue Swamp Creek Nature Trail, established by KCB in 2011, are to provide information about native plant species, to raise awareness of the importance of the city’s network of waterways and to promote stewardship of the natural environment, Over 100 native species have been identified and many have been marked with informational plaques along the trail.
Receiving this grant will enable KCB to add native plants and expand the educational experience of the nature trail into an easily accessible and highly visible area.
“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 Darden Foundation’s mission is to maintain a spirit of service and community engagement as defining characteristics of Darden’s family of restaurants. 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 they live and serve. For more information, please visit www.dardenfoundation.com. (Darden media contact: Jenni Izzo (407) 657-4818, firstname.lastname@example.org )
Keep Covington Beautiful (KCB) is a 501 c 3 non-profit organization dedicated to the beautification of the city of Covington. By developing broad-based community partnerships, KCB encourages all citizens to take greater responsibility for improving the community through positive behavior. KCB’s projects focus on beautification, including bi-annual planting of the downtown street-side planters, litter prevention and recycling activities and environmental education.