Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) has electrified interest in the Utility Arborist Research Fund (UARF) through the PG&E Challenge, which offers $1.00 in matching funds for every $2.00 in gifts to UARF up to $125,000 per year in both 2016 and 2017.
We are delighted to announce that the 2016 installment of the PG&E Challenge has been met, with ~$175,000 in new UARF funding paid to date, and another ~$75,000 pledged and invoiced for fourth quarter 2016. When these pledges and PG&E’s first year match are applied to the UARF, the total value of the fund will be at about $735,000, nearly 75% of the $1.0 million goal.
We have also already secured about $85,000 in pledges toward the 2017 installment of this program, so are well on the way to being able to spend ~$50,000 per year in perpetuity to support utility arboriculture research. We also expect to fund a pilot research program with current year PG&E funds (via Utility Arborist Association, with thanks) in late 2016 to lay the foundation for this long-term program. This is a transformative initiative, and we are grateful to PG&E, UAA, and all of our UARF partners for making it possible. Visit our UARF website page to learn more, and please thank those who have contributed when you are able.