The Valley Nature Center is getting some help from the sun thanks to a $30,000 donation from Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. The Sun Club® donation equipped the six-acre nature preserve with two new solar arrays that will help power both the Center’s welcome facility and pond with 100 percent clean energy. The public is invited to see the new solar panels in action and tour the Valley Nature Center free-of-admission on Saturday, November 19, 2016.

As the oldest nature center in the Rio Grande Valley, the Valley Nature Center is home to a wide variety of native plants and animals and is one of the top bird and butterfly destinations in the United States. The Valley Nature Center is also the only nonprofit fully dedicated to environmental education south of San Antonio and east of Eagle Pass, helping educate the community on the importance of protecting the area’s natural communities of flora and fauna.

“The Green Mountain Energy Sun Club strives to partner with organizations like the Valley Nature Center that focus on making a difference in their community,” said Mark Parsons, president of Green Mountain Energy Sun Club and general manager of Green Mountain Energy Company. “Valley Nature Center’s commitment to the environment extends far beyond protecting native plants and animals, and we’re proud to help support their mission of being the leader for environmental education in the Rio Grande Valley.”

“The Valley Nature Center is thankful to the Sun Club for donating renewable solar energy to help power our facilities,” said Hollie Johnston, executive director of the Valley Nature Center. “This solar donation is directly tied to our mission, and we’re passionate about exploring new ways to protect the environment.”

One of the two solar arrays donated by the Sun Club is powering the nonprofit’s new Nature Center Facility, which was the city of Weslaco’s first LEED certified building. The second solar array powers the Center’s pond pump, keeping the water clean and the aquatic inhabitants healthy. The solar donation marks the Sun Club’s 91st dedication and more than $4 million donated to worthy organizations for solar and sustainability projects. To learn more about the Sun Club and how to apply for a grant, visit www.gmsunclub.com.