At a time when much of the U.S. is experiencing record levels of drought, good environmental stewardship is needed.

That’s why American Water, the largest water and wastewater utility company in the U.S., recently donated two grants totaling $35,000 to the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance to further the organization’s ongoing conservation efforts.

American Water donated thousands for the Union Sportsmen's Alliance conservation efforts on April 18 in Charleston, W.Va. Pictured are Jeffrey McIntyre, West Virginia American Water president, left; Aldie Warnock, American Water senior vice president of external affairs; Fred Myers, USA executive director; and Ken Purdue, West Virginia AFL-CIO president.

The grants, which were announced at the USA’s Second Annual West Virginia AFL-CIO Conservation Dinner on April 18, will fund USA’s Work Boots on the Ground volunteer efforts in Illinois, Tennessee and West Virginia. American Water’s national arm donated $25,000 to the projects, and the company’s West Virginia office kicked in an additional $10,000 for the Charleston-area conservation initiative.

Volunteers will help improve public access to water-based recreational opportunities and enhance the environmental sustainability of existing recreational areas. 

“American Water employees are proud members of the communities we serve,” company President and CEO Susan Story said. “Our employees who are in union-represented jobs are among the most talented and skilled professionals in the nation, and we are very excited to provide financial and staff support to Work Boots on the Ground projects that will enhance the outdoor experience of our customers, our employees and their families.” Story has been credited with improving labor/management relations at the company since her hiring last year.

Launched in 2010, Work Boots on the Ground offers union members the chance to help conserve wildlife habitat, mentor youth in the outdoors, improve public access to the outdoors and restore America’s parks. 

IBEW volunteers have built a youth archery range in Florida, constructed a storage facility for kayaks in near a Georgia lake, improved a Texas state park and more.

“To every conservation project union members take on through Work Boots on the Ground, they bring an unmatched work ethic, superior trade skills and a desire to give back to their community,” said USA Executive Director and CEO Fred Myers.  “We commend American Water for its good corporate citizenship in supporting this program, and we look forward to working together to improve public access to the recreational opportunities that clean water provides.”

Learn more about Work Boots on the Ground here.