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Submitted by Green Mountain Energy

HOUSTON, May 4, 2021 / CSRwire / – Today, the Rice University gardening community is celebrating a solar upgrade and improvements in Betty and Jacob Friedman’s holistic garden, a place where everyone can learn how to garden their quality of life and their neighborhoods can improve. Green Mountain Energy Sun Club, a community sustainability program run by renewable electricity company Green Mountain Energy, awarded a $ 77,000 sustainability grant to power the garden with a solar panel, greenhouse, rainwater harvesting, and composting systems on site to supply . The grant also raised funds for a butterfly garden, an apiary and a chicken house project. These elements enhance the garden’s contributions to the community and demonstrate the positive effects gardening has on the entire ecosystem.

“Improvements supported by the gift of the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club have made the garden a leading example of sustainability and will benefit various communities at the university and in the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Thomas Killian, Dean of the Wiess School of Natural Sciences at Reisuniversität. “This reaffirms our commitment to strengthening connections with the environment and the wider community.”

Built in 2018, the 2.5-acre garden is part of the Life Sciences Department at Rice University and is almost four times the size of the previous pure gardens combined. With a mission to promote and teach gardening techniques, the garden serves the Houston community, including rice students in the agriculture program, student clubs, volunteer gardeners, the University of Texas School of Public Health, schools, nonprofits, and anyone interested in horticulture. The garden offers sales of vegetable and herb plants twice a year, preceded by workshops on the ecological cultivation of vegetables, fruits and herbs.

“There is something very symbolic about taking the same energy from the sun that gives life to our plants and our favorite fruits and herbs and then turning them over to run the garden,” said Mark Parsons, Vice President and General Manager of Green Mountain Energy. “By supporting Rice University’s sustainability efforts, Green Mountain Energy is helping to scale the use of renewable energy while supporting an educational garden that improves our city and our lives.”

The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club has been supporting local communities with sustainable solutions since 2002. Through non-profit partnerships and sustainability grants, the organization supports projects to promote renewable energies, energy efficiency, resource conservation and environmental protection. The Sun Club is funded by Green Mountain Energy, its customers and employees.

Betty and Jacob Friedman’s Holistic Garden was established by the Houston Jewish Community Foundation on behalf of the Betty Friedman estate and was maintained under the guidance of Joe Novak, widely recognized as one of the foremost horticultural experts in Texas. The website is accessible for those who wish to learn how to garden in the Houston climate or for those lifelong gardeners who wish to learn new gardening methods. The maintenance and care of the garden is carried out by volunteers made up of rice students, teachers and staff, and members of the local community. Much of the produce is served to rice students in their dormitories.

To learn more about Betty and Jacob Friedman’s Holistic Garden, visit



About the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club

Green Mountain Energy is changing the way electricity is generated and promoting sustainable communities through the work of the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. Since its inception in 2002, the Sun Club® had donated more than $ 10 million to more than 122 nonprofits in Texas and the Northeast. The Sun Club works with non-profit organizations on projects that focus on renewable energies, energy efficiency, resource conservation and environmental protection. To learn more about Green Mountain Energy and the Sun Club, or to apply for a Sun Club scholarship, visit

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Green Mountain Energy

Green Mountain Energy

The Green Mountain Energy Company was founded in 1997 with the aim of changing the way electricity is generated. Today we are 100% committed to this mission that makes us the longest-serving renewable energy retailer and the clean energy pioneer. We offer our customers electricity products made from renewable raw materials such as wind, solar and CO2 compensation, which help neutralize CO2 emissions.

We live our commitment to sustainability internally and externally: Every single product offered by our company has an ecological benefit, and our company works with a CO2-free footprint – awards that make us proud!

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