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Posted on July 8, 2014

Galt: PG&E’s Eric Brown Wins Award for Presentations at Cosumnes River Preserve

By Brandi Ehlers

The Galt City Council presented PG&E’s Eric Brown with the Galt Community of Character Coalition for Integrity award for his work with students.

Galt Union School District's John Durand, center, presents PG&E's Eric Brown with an award for his work with students. At left is Bob Bell, Brown's manager at PG&E. (Photo by Brandi Ehlers.)

Brown, a supervising program manager with PG&E’s vegetation management department in Electric Operations, received the award for his work with the Cosumnes River Preserve and the Galt Union School District. The Galt Community of Character Coalition is a community-based organization focused on creating a community culture based on values, goodwill and accepted character traits by inspiring and motivating individuals, families, and organizations to take responsibility for their choices and actions, to make a difference in the community, and to display and recognize good character.

“Eric Brown was nominated for Galt’s Integrity Award because he exemplifies this virtue in his words and actions,” said John Durand, service learning coordinator for the school district and the person who nominated Brown for the award.

“Eric has supported Galt youth by providing high quality outdoor learning experiences on the Cosumnes River Preserve. The school district really appreciates his hard work and dedication.”

The presentation was made June 17.

The Cosumnes River Preserve is located in a critical corridor of PG&E electric transmission lines that require the company to pay extra attention to the vegetation in the area. While PG&E recognizes the important esthetic and environmental value of trees, the company needs to keep its rights-of-way safe and clear from trees and other vegetation that could come into contact with electrical lines to avoid potential fire hazards and outages. Brown worked with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to come to a positive solution. Through an educational program, students and the BLM are able to manage the Preserve in a way that will not conflict with the overhead high-voltage power lines.

The Cosumnes River Preserve Environmental Education Program was awarded a $10,000 PG&E Bright Ideas Grant in 2013. The education program supports outdoor educational opportunities at the 46,000-acre Cosumnes River Preserve, teaching students how to protect, restore and manage the area. The grant helped to resurrect the discontinued educational program with the school district and helped students visit the preserve and plant and care for young oak trees, restoring several acres of forest and wetland habitat.

The PG&E Bright Ideas grant program provides funding each year to schools throughout its service area to develop projects and curriculum that educate students about renewable energy, conservation and environmental stewardship. Since 2005, PG&E has awarded nearly $2 million in Bright Ideas grants. In the 2013-2014 school year, more than 30 schools across California received grants for a total of $255,000.

“I am extremely appreciative of this award,” said Brown. “I have a great opportunity to work for an company that supports these types of partnerships and this opportunity at the Cosumnes River Preserve with the Galt Union School District is a winning situation for everyone involved.”

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