Inside INdiana Business

Duke Energy awards nature grants

(photo courtesy of Duke Energy)

PLAINFIELD, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – The Duke Energy Foundation is awarding 19 “Powerful Communities” program grants in Indiana totaling more than $235,000. The foundation says the funding will support environmental programs for water quality, conservation, and habitat and forest restoration.

Programs located in Bartholomew, Clay, Decatur, Hamilton, Hancock, Johnson, Morgan, Sullivan, Tippecanoe and Vigo counties, will receive a portion of the total funding.

“We are proud to support these organizations, which work so faithfully to maintain and improve our natural environment,” said Stan Pinegar, Duke Energy state president for Indiana. “Many of these programs provide benefits beyond the local community.”

Hoosier organizations receiving the 2020 foundation grants include:

  • Art Spaces, Wabash Valley Outdoor Sculpture Collection Inc. – $10,000 for phase 1 of “Turn to the River,” to provide an accessible link between Terre Haute’s downtown and the Wabash River within a newly revitalized central city and county government plaza.
  • Arts Council of Southern Indiana – $5,000 to enhance the Arts Alliance of Southern Indiana’s Monarch butterfly sanctuary.
  • Central Indiana Land Trust – $15,000 to expand trails in two of its most visited and beautiful nature preserves – Laura Hare Preserve at Blossom Hollow (Johnson County) and Fred and Dorothy Meyer Nature Preserve (Morgan County).
  • City of Franklin, Franklin Parks and Recreation – $23,334 for the Youngs Creek Mitigation and Restoration project to bring back the functionality of an area that has been lost to years of development and natural destruction.
  • City of Noblesville – $25,000 to restore native habitat for a central stretch of the White River’s east bank in Noblesville, at the same time removing overgrowth of invasive species and opening the river both visually and physically to resident interaction.
  • City of Sullivan – $20,000 for the Greenway project, which will plant trees, shrubs and flowers and place benches along the developing Greenway Trail System that connects Sullivan County Park and Lake, Sullivan High School and the Sullivan Public Library to downtown.
  • Clay Community Parks – $5,000 to extend the Craig Municipal Park walking trail and add a bridge over the lake’s dam overflow stream.
  • Columbus Redevelopment Commission – $5,000 to remove a low-head dam, ensure accessible pedestrian routes, provide safe and secure access to the river, provide ample access for emergency and public safety personnel for rapid response, and will be designed to reflect reasonable and responsible development of the riverfront.
  • Decatur County Community Foundation – $25,000 to create a memorial walking trail and include learning and STEAM stations. Funds will be used to purchase trees native to Indiana, as well as items for a weather and music station.
  • Indiana University Foundation – $10,000 for Indiana University’s Environmental Resilience Institute to launch the 2021 Resilience Cohort to bring together local government staff and partners to advance local capacity and produce greenhouse gas inventories for up to six communities in Duke Energy’s Indiana service territory.
  • Indiana Wildlife Federation Inc. – $10,000 to support the addition of a half-mile ADA-accessible interpretive nature trail loop that starts and ends at the new visitor center.
  • Landmark Columbus Foundation – $3,500 to create free public programs in early 2021 and purchase and plant at least 1,300 plants in Bartholomew County.
  • NICHES Land Trust – $15,000 to create an outdoor observation and interpretive area with seating for visitors overlooking the natural play area and woodlands at this preserve.
  • Pennsy Trails of Hancock County Inc. – $8,060 to fund a foundation for wildlife by adding native local wildflower seeds, plants, shrubs and trees to establish a healthy habitat. The grant will also provide signs to educate others on wildlife habitat.
  • ReThink – $3,000 for the program to improve the natural habitat and biodiversity by planting two pollinator gardens in a disadvantaged neighborhood.
  • Southern Indiana Cooperative Weed Management Area – $10,000 to help protect Indiana lands and water by coordinating efforts to identify, prevent and control problematic invasive species.
  • The Nature Conservancy – $15,000 to coordinate 15 “Weed Wrangles” across Indiana’s public green spaces. Each event is a locally led volunteer event that will educate, engage and empower local citizens to combat invasive species and encourage planting native species.
  • Town of Arcadia – $2,500 to develop a new pocket park for its downtown district. It will feature native shrubs and flowers, a bench, a path of pervious pavers and a small picnic table for residents and visitors to enjoy.

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