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Coke's commitment to Chattahoochee Riverkeeper continues

A $25,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation will provide 1,500 rain barrels to underserved communities, saving more than 1 million gallons of water.

The westside's Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) has received a $25,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Midtown-based Coca-Cola Company.

The grant will provide 1,500 rain barrels to underserved communities, saving more than 1 million gallons of water; engage hundreds of local volunteers in 17 cleanups; and provide educational paddle trips during the summer.

Since 2009, CRK has been working with the Coca-Cola Company to replenish drops in the metro Atlanta area through the use of rain barrels. Several times throughout the year, CRK offers opportunities to purchase and learn how to install a rain barrel.

Coke provides CRK with used 60-gallon syrup containers for use by homeowners to harvest rain water. The program workshop is devised to teach homeowners about water conservation, water wise gardening and rain barrel installation and harvesting.

Ansley Park resident and Riverkeeper Sally Bethea is the executive director of CRK, which is located at 916 Joseph Lowery Boulevard. Its mission is to protect and preserve the Chattahoochee River, its lakes and tributaries for the people, fish and wildlife that depend upon it.

CRK has enjoyed a year of tremendous success in working hard to stop leaks and sewage overflows, beef up monitoring efforts, and increasing awareness about the river. It’s all in the service of protecting and restoring the river that provides drinking water and recreation to nearly 4 million Georgians. Check out this slideshow highlighting CRK accomplishments in 2012.

But serious challenges remain, and if you would like to contribute to the cause, just click on this link to donate

Including the CRK grant, The Coca-Cola Foundation will award more than $2 million in grants this quarter, with more than $1 million directed to support community health and fitness programs. Including these fourth quarter grants, The Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded a total of $9.9 million to support healthy living programs across North America in 2012.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will receive a $100,000 grant to support Project HELP – a program promoting healthy eating, physical activity and healthy lifestyles in African-American communities.

Another recipient, the Canadian Institute of Child Health, will receive a $100,000 grant to provide information on healthy food choices and physical activity to Inuit families in Canada. Translated into English, French and Inuktitut, the culturally relevant material will include a storybook, traditional Inuit songs and activity suggestions for parents and teachers.

“Choosing to live healthy, balanced lifestyles is one of the most important decisions we can make,” Lori George Billingsley, vice president, Community Relations, Coca-Cola Refreshments, said in a news release. “By teaching people how to make good nutrition and fitness choices as part of their daily routine, these organizations are tangibly impacting the health of their communities now and for the future.”

Other organizations receiving active, healthy living funding include:

  • Bexar County Community Health Collaborative, San Antonio, TX, $25,000
  • Canadian Diabetes Association, Toronto, Ontario, $50,000
  • Diabète Québec, Montreal, Quebec, $50,000
  • Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia, Roswell, GA, $25,000
  • Latino Community Foundation, San Francisco, CA, $25,000
  • National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Washington, D.C., $150,000
  • National Park Foundation, Washington, D.C., $250,000
  • National Urban League, New York, NY, $100,000
  • Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Washington, D.C., $150,000
  • San Antonio Sports Foundation, San Antonio, TX, $25,000
  • Universidad Popular, Chicago, IL, $25,000 

Other fourth quarter grants made by the Foundation address additional community needs. They include $200,000 toward community, arts and culture initiatives; $200,000 to support education programs; $125,000 for water stewardship; $150,000 benefitting economic development; and $100,000 to support diversity and inclusion initiatives.

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