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NRPA Awards $575,000 in Grant Funding to Support Local Water Restoration Project Along the Rio Grande

Source: National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

Funding for the project provided by The Coca-Cola Company

Ashburn, Va. (Nov. 16, 2017) — The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, is proud to award Taos Land Trust with a $575,000 grant to support a local water restoration project along a portion of the Rio Grande. This project is part of NRPA’s commitment to water conservation and to making healthy, active waterways a reality in every community across the nation. 

“Parks provide tremendous benefits — especially to the environment,” said Lori Robertson, NRPA director of conservation. “That’s why we’re proud to partner with The Coca-Cola Company on a project that both restores wetlands critical to the health of the Rio Grande and creates new park and recreational space for the people of Taos. This project captures the important role parks play in strengthening the environment and communities.”

“Water is vital to our business and to the communities we serve,” said Jon Radtke, who leads water sustainability at Coca-Cola North America. “Supporting projects like this one with the NRPA helps us continue to balance all of the water we use in our beverages and return it to nature and communities.”

The grant funding will be used to revitalize a critical wetland of Taos, which will help improve the water quality and quantity that feeds the Rio Grande, help mitigate the effects of climate change by minimizing the effects of extreme storms after periods of extreme drought, and help enhance critical habitat to migratory and resident species, such as the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. The grant funding will also be used to create a community park — Rio Fernando Park — that will include walking trails and a dedicated area for conservation education.  

“This funding is not only timely, but it is transformative,” said Kristina Ortez de Jones, Taos Land Trust executive director. “Our community is committed to protecting its water and acequias and the working lands that are nourished from our rivers. The Rio Fernando Park is emblematic of the values held by all Taoseños with its 7 acres of wetlands and 13 acres of now-fallow land that will be brought back to life with this important award. We are grateful for the opportunity to create a public space that meets our community’s need for open space, locally grown food and pathways for walking and bike riding.”

NRPA is working in communities across the country to implement replicable restoration projects that improve the water quality and quantity of rivers and streams while increasing public stewardship and community access to waterways. The Taos project will serve as a case study for public lands managers and park and recreation agencies, and will become a national model of how, through creative partnerships, restoration efforts in local parks can uniquely connect residents to their local waterways and provide multiple benefits to their communities.

To learn more about this important work, visit www.taoslandtrust.org.

To learn more about NRPA’s work commitment to water conservation, visit www.nrpa.org/water-conservation.   

About the National Recreation and Park Association 
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.

About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest total beverage company, offering over 500 brands to people in more than 200 countries. Of our 21 billion-dollar brands, 19 are available in lower- and no-sugar options to help people everywhere more easily control added sugar. In addition to our namesake Coca-Cola drinks, some of our household names around the world include: AdeS soy-based beverages, Ayataka green tea, Dasani waters, Del Valle juices and nectars, Fanta, Georgia coffee, Gold Peak teas and coffees, Honest Tea, Minute Maid juices, Powerade sports drinks, Simply juices, smartwater, Sprite, vitaminwater and Zico coconut water. At Coca-Cola, we’re serious about making positive contributions to our world. That starts with reducing sugar in our drinks and bringing new and different drinks to people everywhere. It also means continuously working to reduce our environmental impact, creating rewarding careers for our associates, and bringing economic opportunity wherever we operate. In fact, together with our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people around the world. For more information, visit our digital magazine Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com and follow The Coca-Cola Company on TwitterInstagramFacebook and LinkedIn.

On August 29, 2017, Coca-Cola celebrated the one year anniversary of reaching a major milestone. Last year, The Coca-Cola Company and our bottling partners met their global goal to replenish all the water used in its finished beverages and their production and return it to communities and nature.[1] This achievement makes Coca-Cola the first Fortune 500 company to claim that it is replenishing all the water it uses globally. The Coca-Cola Company continues to work toward balancing the water it uses year over year and supports more than 60 water replenishment projects in more than 100 communities throughout the U.S.

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