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Center Receives Major Financial Support from Dominion Foundation

In support of Rapidan and Robinson River Valleys, Virginia maintenance and restoration and the job creation and training provided, the Dominion Foundation has provided the Center with significant financial support for 2014.

The press release announcing this exciting development is below:

Students Ride the River for the Environment in Summer Jobs Program

  • Center for Natural Capital creates jobs through StreamSweepers program
  • Dominion provides $50,000 in funding
  • Rapidan and Robinson River Valleys benefit from the program’s river cleaning focus

ORANGE, Va. — The Center for Natural Capital (CNC) has launched a river restoration job corps program for young adults with help from Dominion. CNC, a non-profit organization dedicated to community economic development through healthy ecosystems, has hired 13 high school and college-aged students to assess and clean stretches of the Rapidan and Robinson Rivers while instructing them in college-level geology, ecological history, economics, sociology, and entrepreneur-based conservation techniques. The summer jobs program is called “StreamSweepers.”

“The StreamSweepers program blends jobs and economic development with the restoration of nature,” said Michael Collins, Executive Director of The Center for Natural Capital. “We create good paying jobs for young adults and the work they do enhances the health of the Rapidan and Robinson River Valleys and their local economies.” Funding for the program comes from landowners and river valley supporters, including the Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, parent company of Dominion Virginia Power, which provided StreamSweepers with a $50,000 grant.

This summer, StreamSweepers will kayak and canoe 20 miles of the Rapidan and 20 miles of the Robinson Rivers looking for and removing debris such as tires, rusted appliances, and old furniture. They will also be conducting cutting edge water analyses and quantifying the health of river valley ecosystems.

“The Center for Natural Capital has created a unique program in StreamSweepers that not only educates our future generation of environmental stewards, but also gives them well-paying, meaningful jobs,” said Hunter Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. “Programs like this have a positive, sustainable impact in the communities Dominion serves.”

During the program, which lasts from June through August, the students will measure the environmental health of the river by cataloguing species and the status of erosion of the river bank and floodplains. Sweepers use portable GPS units to map this information which is owned by their customers. “We take a business approach to cleaning up the river,” Collins says. “Volunteer programs are not self-sustaining.  What we’re working to create with StreamSweepers is a river and stream maintenance and restoration service for riverside landowners.”

For more information on the Center for Natural Capital visit:



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