UMW News BureauThe Montana Western Birch Creek Outdoor Education Center is the recipient of an $8,731 grant from the PPL Montana Community Fund. By Wally Feldt [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="182" caption="From left, Birch Creek Center Program Director Joe Brandon, Lisa R. Perry and Todd Tregidga, both of PPL."][/caption] The University of Montana Western Birch Creek Outdoor Education Center is the recipient of an $8,731 grant from the Pennsylvania Power & Light (PPL) Montana Community Fund. The monies will be used to replace 80 old mattresses used in facilities for the school’s outdoor education programs and meeting facilities. The Birch Creek Center grant is one of 15 PPL grants totaling $100,000 this spring. “We are honored to be supporting the Birch Creek Center via the PPL Montana Community Fund,” PPL Montana Community Affairs Manager Lisa Perry said. “It is such a dynamic setting and has such potential to enable students to learn about the outdoors and all the science in nature.” Since 2005, PPL Montana has awarded $1.1 million to 175 organizations that are addressing issues related to education, the environment and economic development. The grants range from $1,000 to $10,000 each. “The Birch Creek Outdoor Education and Conference Center greatly appreciates the financial support of this PPL grant,” Birch Creek Program Director Joe Brand0n said. “This grant will allow us to provide updated accommodations for our visiting groups.” Bob Hanni of Abbey Furniture in Butte, Mont. also donated $500 for the ongoing maintenance costs of the Birch Creek Center.