The donation will be invested so that annual earnings from the endowment will provide a flow of research funding for years to come.
The same group has given CSU money for research for nearly four decades; the endowment will allow a continuation of this support in perpetuity.
Donna Ralston, former executive director of the GreenCo Foundation and a leader in providing the donation, said the green industry is especially interested in research that suggests solutions to water scarcity for lawns and gardens.
“Most of the issues in the industry revolve around water conservation, water use and plants that are more drought-tolerant in our semi-arid climate. We’re interested in understanding everything from plant varieties to better irrigation techniques,” Ralston said in a statement. “Our industry continues to evolve, and research findings are critical to that.”
Total revenues for the industry were estimated to be about $1.8 billion dollars in 2007, according to the most recent economic survey. The green industry provided almost 35,000 jobs with $1.2 billion dollars in payroll, the survey showed.