The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded 19 "Powerful Communities" program grants in Indiana totaling more than $235,000 for important environmental programs to support water quality, conservation, and habitat and forest restoration.
"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."
One recipient of a $25,000 grant is Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, which will use the grant for its Indiana Tree Project to add 1,000 acres of forested land in the state.
"It's so rewarding to partner with an organization that invests in their communities and shares our commitment to preserving and protecting our natural resources for future generations," said Jody Kress, executive director of the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation. "We are grateful for Duke Energy's partnership, generosity and genuine desire to make a positive impact on conservation in Indiana."
Other organizations receiving the 2020 foundation grants include:
Art Spaces – Wabash Valley Outdoor Sculpture Collection Inc.: TURN TO THE RIVER Phase 1 of implementation will provide an accessible and meaningful link between Terre Haute's downtown and the Wabash River within a newly revitalized central city/county government plaza.
Arts Council of Southern Indiana: This program will enhance the Arts Alliance of Southern Indiana's Monarch butterfly sanctuary.
Central Indiana Land Trust: Central Indiana Land Trust will 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: The Youngs Creek Mitigation and Restoration project will bring back the functionality of an area that has been lost to years of development and natural destruction.
City of Noblesville: The city of Noblesville will 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: The Greenway project 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: The project is to extend the Craig Municipal Park walking trail and add a bridge over the lake's dam overflow stream.
Columbus Redevelopment Commission: The project will 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: This project will 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: Indiana University's Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) will 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.: This grant will 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: The project will create free public programs in early 2021 and purchase and plant at least 1,300 plants in Bartholomew County.
NICHES Land Trust: NICHES will 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.: This grant will 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: The program will improve the natural habitat and biodiversity by planting two pollinator gardens in a disadvantaged neighborhood.
Southern Indiana Cooperative Weed Management Area: This program will help protect Indiana lands and water by coordinating efforts to identify, prevent and control problematic invasive species.
The Nature Conservancy: The Nature Conservancy will 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: The town of Arcadia will 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.