VCU Rice Center Receives $250,000 for Wetlands Ecology Program

Philip Morris USA has donated $250,000 to the Virginia Commonwealth University Rice Center to help fund a Wetlands Research and Educational program that will promote new research initiatives in wetlands ecology.

The program is a collaboration between Philip Morris and the Rice Center. The first and second parts of the three-phase effort will enhance educational opportunities through wetlands-related curricula for teachers and students in Virginia schools to foster an awareness of water management issues and will exemplify how this stewardship of the land is both beneficial and critical to the needs of a community.

The third phase will incorporate a fully developed Wetlands Education Program at Philip Morris’ Park 500 site into a larger collaboration between VCU and other partnering agencies and organizations to promote awareness through research and education.

The VCU Rice Center was created from an ecology-rich, 343-acre parcel of land that Inger Rice donated to VCU in 2000. It is located on the north bank of the historic James River, southeast of Richmond in Charles City County. VCU Life Sciences uses the property for research, education and outreach activities, many of which focus on large rivers and their riparian landscapes.

The gift was presented Feb. 20 by Cheryl Comes, senior manager of contributions with Philip Morris.