National Recreation and Park Association Receives $2.5 Million

The , the philanthropic arm of , the nation's largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, has announced a $2.5 million grant to the to administer the company's environmental grants program.

The initiative is designed to improve the quality of life in communities served by American Water through grants that support the protection of open space, connect children to nature, and help educate communities about environmental stewardship practices related to clean water. Initially, the program will focus on parks, including nature-based playgrounds and natural play spaces for children, with each play space to be developed through a community partnership.

"Research shows that children who play in and explore natural environments often adopt conservation and sustainability values as adults," said Debra Vernon, president of the American Water Charitable Foundation. "We believe these are important characteristics to encourage for the continued viability of and appreciation for our nation's water resources. The Building Better Communities program supports American Water's core values of community stewardship and environmental sustainability and aligns with areas of importance to the company's employees, including child welfare and education."

"." American Water Charitable Foundation Press Release 05/05/2014.