SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Kevin Benedict, Adrian Bridgwater, Carmen Gonzalez, Dana Gardner, Elizabeth White

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ComEd and Openlands Offer Municipalities Cash Grants for Green Projects

Green Region grants offered throughout ComEd service territory

CHICAGO, Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Green spaces in northern Illinois will be even greener later this year thanks to cash grants distributed by ComEd and Openlands. The organizations are partnering for a second year to issue a total of $150,000 in Green Region grants to municipalities located in ComEd's service territory.

Green Region is an environmental program offering cash grants to eligible municipalities for their efforts to conserve open spaces. The grants subsidize existing open land projects focusing on conservation, preservation, protecting endangered species, and improvements to local parks and recreation resources.

Openlands, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to land conservation, will again administer the Green Region program and distribute a maximum of $10,000 per project for each approved application.

Local municipalities interested in applying for a Green Region grant can do so by completing an application on Openlands' website, www.openlands.org. The submission window opens today and expires on Saturday, March 15. All applications will be reviewed by an advisory committee of local environmental leaders. Interested municipalities can apply for multiple projects, but must complete one application per project.

"Openlands is thrilled to offer municipalities another opportunity to participate in protecting and enhancing open space throughout our region," said Jerry Adelmann, president and CEO, Openlands. "We are already seeing positive results from the projects awarded grants in 2013, and we anticipate having more communities take advantage of and benefit from this program. Once again, this would not be possible without ComEd and their continued commitment to protecting our natural resources."

"We realize many municipalities throughout the region have to deal with budget limits that unfortunately undercut programs focused on the environment," said Fidel Marquez, senior vice president of Governmental and External Affairs, ComEd. "Service in the community has always been a part of ComEd's DNA. ComEd's partnership with Openlands is another example of our ongoing commitment to community service by protecting the environment, conserving resources and creating a more sustainable future. ComEd's investment in the Green Region program strengthens and enriches the communities we serve."

Successful applicants will be notified by June 15, and their grants will be distributed by ComEd over a two-year period. During that time, Openlands will monitor the projects by developing application, guidelines and a scorecard to track the impact of each funded project.

The Green Region program debuted last year as ComEd and Openlands awarded $125,000 in grants to 17 municipalities and nonprofits located throughout northern Illinois.

Additional information on the Green Region grant program and more images of projects that received funding in 2013 can be found at www.openlands.org/greenregion.

About Openlands
Founded in 1963, Openlands is one of the nation's oldest and most successful metropolitan conservation organizations, having helped secure, protect, and provide public access to more than 55,000 acres of land for parks, forest preserves, wildlife refuges, land and water greenway corridors, and urban gardens. For more information, visit www.openlands.org.

About ComEd
Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider, with approximately 6.6 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population.

SOURCE ComEd; Openlands

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