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As of: 4:32 PM, 6/13/21

News Release

Consumers Energy Foundation Provides $500,000 to Four Projects Protecting Michigan’s Environment

Jackson, Mich. Monday, May 03, 2021

Second Annual Planet Awards Support Enhancing Natural Resources

The Consumers Energy Foundation celebrated Earth Month by providing $500,000 to four projects that will help protect and restore Michigan’s land, water and air. Consumers Energy is committed to building a sustainable future for Michigan. Its Clean Energy Plan eliminates coal and dramatically boosts renewable energy to help achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Huron Pines Resource Conservation & Development Council, Au Sable Institute, Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy and Bay Area Community Foundation are the second annual recipients of the Foundation’s Planet Awards.

“Consumers Energy is dedicated to ensuring Michigan has world-class natural resources – and this means supporting the natural beauty that can be found throughout the state,” said Brandon Hofmeister, president of the Consumers Energy Foundation. “Out of an overwhelming number of worthy applications, we are thrilled to announce and support the 2021 Planet Award winners. We are confident these projects will significantly help preserve and protect Michigan’s treasured land, water and air for the enjoyment of current and many future generations.”

The four winning projects are:

  • Gaylord, Mich. -- Huron Pines Resource Conservation & Development Council ($200,000) – The Protect Wild Places project will restore 5,000 acres of wildlife habitat and recreational land, and 150 miles of waterways and Great Lakes shoreline across 17 counties through online and in-person events and conservation efforts in partnership with community leaders, schools, organizations and residents.
  • Mancelona, Mich. -- Au Sable Institute ($125,000) – The Good Things Grow Here project will engage local schools and mobilize 3,600 K-12 students to complete 30 habitat restoration projects in Northern Michigan by 2024. Each restoration project will install 1,000 native plants, for a total of 30,000 native plants installed over the next three years in Northern Michigan.
  • Kalamazoo, Mich. -- Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy ($100,000) – The project will restore rich habitat on the 140-acre Armintrout-Milbocker Nature Preserve through invasive species management, creation of a holistic management plan, and community access. The project will also lower pollution levels and increase filtration of waters that flow into the Kalamazoo River.
  • Bay City, Mich. -- Bay Area Community Foundation ($75,000) – Funding will support the Lake Huron Forever Initiative’s nature-based solutions and projects, community assessments, and training programs to advance water quality protection and healthy, sustainable communities on Lake Huron.

The Planet Awards are the first of three $500,000 grant allocations this year totaling $1.5 million. Additional requests for proposals will be announced later in the year for the $500,000 People Awards and Prosperity Awards. In 2020 the Planet Awards were put on pause to support COVID relief efforts. Planet Awards winners in 2019 were Michigan Nature Association, Conservation Resource Alliance, and Michigan United Conservation Clubs.

The Consumers Energy Foundation is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider. The Foundation enables communities to thrive and grow by investing in what’s most important to Michigan — its people, our planet and Michigan’s prosperity. In 2020, the Consumers Energy Foundation, Consumers Energy, its employees and retirees contributed over $19 million to Michigan nonprofits. For more information, visit www.ConsumersEnergy.com/foundation.

Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.8 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

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Media Contacts: Terry DeDoes, 517-243-9908 or Brian Wheeler, 517-740-1545