Southwest Environmental Center and the Darden Foundation Partner to Restore the Rio Grande

Las Cruces, NM – May 23, 2012 – The Southwest Environmental Center (SWEC) today announced it has been selected to receive a $1,000 grant as part of the inaugural Restaurant Community Grant Program from the Darden Foundation, the charitable arm of Darden Restaurants Inc.

The Restaurant Community Grant Program is a local grants program intended to help support nonprofit organizations in the hundreds of communities Darden and its restaurant brands serve. The donation will support Southwest Environmental Center’s efforts to restore the Rio Grande, including the La Mancha wetland near Mesilla, NM.

SWEC staff and board members accept donation from staff at Olive Garden Restaurant in Las Cruces.

Restaurants within the Darden family – Olive Garden, Red Lobster, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52 – are helping to award more than $1.7 million in local grants to nearly 900 exceptional nonprofit organizations nationwide. Nonprofits receiving grants support one of Darden’s three key focus areas: access to postsecondary education, preservation of natural resources and hunger.

For more information about the Darden Foundation, please visit