PLAINFIELD, Ind. – The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded 20 grants totaling more than $250,000 to Indiana-based organizations undertaking a wide range of environmental initiatives across the state, including projects to enhance Indiana parks, protect vulnerable habitats, support clean water, and expand outdoor recreational and educational opportunities.
“We’re pleased to partner with local nonprofits and organizations across our service territory to enhance the quality of life of our customers and communities,” said Stan Pinegar, president of Duke Energy Indiana. “From planting trees to creating community gardens and nature trails, we hope to make a positive impact through meaningful and sustainable projects that make Indiana a desirable and vibrant place to live.”
Over the last five years, the Duke Energy Foundation has awarded more than 70 grants totaling nearly $1 million to organizations across Indiana for projects that support environmental stewardship.
This year, grants were awarded to 20 Indiana-based organizations to support conservation and educational programs in Boone, Clark, Decatur, Fayette, Franklin, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Jackson, Jefferson, Monroe, Owen, Putnam, Ripley, Rush, Tippecanoe, Vigo and Wabash counties.
Quotes from each on the impact of the grants can be found here.
- Alquina Blue Arrows Park (Fayette County)
$10,000 for planting of trees and native pollinators, installing new fencing and providing educational opportunities
The grant will support efforts to make Alquina Blue Arrows Park more bird-, butterfly- and bee-friendly by adding more native pollinator plants to landscaping that borders the park shelter, walking trail and historical monument. The funds will also support the purchase and planting of native trees on the property, as well as educational opportunities for visitors highlighting the importance of biodiversity and protecting native species. Finally, the grant will support the purchase and installation of split rail fencing to act as both a safety barrier and aesthetic enhancement to the park.
- CanopyBloomington (Monroe County)
$15,000 for tree planting in economically disadvantaged areas
CanopyBloomington has identified several economically disadvantaged areas within the city of Bloomington that lack tree canopy cover. This grant funding will support the planting of new trees in these areas, as well as their long-term maintenance and care.
- City of Rushville (Rush County)
$15,000 for tree planting to commemorate bicentennial
To commemorate its bicentennial year, the city of Rushville intends to plant 200 new trees across the community. The project symbolizes the city’s commitment to a cleaner, greener future for the next 200 years. The new trees will aid in the enhancement and preservation of public green spaces and assist in the reduction of carbon and storm water runoff, improving soil quality.
- City of Seymour (Jackson County)
$10,000 for tree planting near Freeman Field Recreational Complex
The grant will support the planting of trees near the Freeman Field Recreational Complex, a 67-acre site used for sports and recreational activities. The trees will act as a natural wind barrier, while also providing shade and helping with drainage. The project will help advance the city’s goal of planting two trees for every tree that’s removed due to storms or disease.
- Decatur County Community Foundation (Decatur County)
$15,000 for new playground, improvements to memorial walking trail
The grant will support improvements to a 0.6-mile walking trail established in memory of Travis Wenning, who lost his fight with cancer at the age of 6. The trail runs along the south perimeter of St. Mary’s Parish campus. The funding will support the installation of a new playground, which will feature equipment that resembles tree stumps, logs and boulders that reflect the natural environment. The grant will also help fund the planting of native trees, as well as the placement of stones around the base of existing trees to prevent erosion and control weeds.
- Franklin County Community Foundation (Franklin County)
$10,000 for expansion, maintenance of community gardens
The grant will support the expansion and continued maintenance of several community and pollinator gardens across Franklin County. The gardens are frequently used for educational purposes highlighting food preservation and preparation, the planting and maintenance of gardens, pest control, and the planting of crops. The funds will also be used to upgrade seating and walking areas within the gardens.
- Healthy Communities of Henry County (Henry County)
$10,000 for Wilbur Wright Trail development
The grant will support phase three of construction on the Wilbur Wright Trail. The new 2.6-mile trail segment will extend from southwest of Mooreland to the northeast side, providing an opportunity for the public to walk, run and bike along a tree-lined path. The project aims to increase residents’ quality of life and help individuals reach their fitness goals.
- Keep Noblesville Beautiful (Hamilton County)
$10,000 for pollinator garden and sculpture
The grant will support the installation of a kinetic butterfly sculpture and pollinator garden in a roundabout at 191st Street and Little Chicago Road in Noblesville. By utilizing this underserved green space, Keep Noblesville Beautiful seeks to not only beautify the community, but to promote the pollination of native plants and the important role they play in climate resiliency. The project also aims to remind pedestrians and drivers of their connection to nature.
- Lake Monroe Water Fund (Monroe County)
$15,000 for healthy woodlands and clean drinking water
The grant will help support live staking along the banks of Clay Lick Creek, a process that involves taking cuttings from woody plants and sticking them into the ground to help remediate soil erosion. The funds will also support the planting of native trees and shrubs adjacent to the creek to help stabilize the soil and create a habitat for birds and insects. The effort aims to improve water quality in the lake, which is the sole drinking water source for 150,000 Bloomington-area residents and businesses. The project is adjacent to CYO Camp Rancho Framasa, providing an opportunity to educate campers about water conservation and sustainability.
- Louisville Grows (Clark County)
$15,000 for tree planting in Jeffersonville and Clarksville
The cities of Jeffersonville and Clarksville are partnering with the nonprofit Louisville Grows to help increase the tree canopy in low-income neighborhoods near I-65. The grant will help purchase approximately 200 shade trees, which will be selected and planted by volunteers with expertise in urban forestry. The project aims to establish a thriving tree canopy, create aesthetic appeal and provide ample shaded areas.
- Manchester University (Wabash County)
$10,000 to establish garden spaces on campus
Manchester University’s Environmental Studies Program and Center for Environmental Resilience and Social Engagement are currently implementing a campuswide conservation management strategy that focuses on actions and infrastructure that are resilient to climate change, support biodiversity conservation and provide accessible green space to northeast Indiana. Phase one of the project is focused on transforming the campus grounds into an agroecology teaching, research and community outreach space. This grant funding will be used to establish garden spaces on campus grounds that demonstrate best practices for climate-resilient food production and for combating issues of food insecurity.
- Parks Foundation of Hendricks County (Hendricks County)
$5,000 for Williams Park ecological enhancement
Brownsburg Parks and Recreation has collaborated with community members and partners to restore critical areas of Williams Park, a 77-acre park that hosts approximately 20,000 visitors each year. The grant funds will be used to implement phase one of the park’s ecological enhancement plan, which includes transitioning turf in the park’s central median into a pollinator prairie mix. The project will help the park save on long-term turf management expenses, reduce their fuel consumption and enhance the park’s biodiversity.
- Pennsy Trails (Hancock County)
$13,561 to increase parking at Eagle Station
The grant will fund efforts to expand parking and trail access at 400 West Eagle Station. The expanded parking lot will accommodate additional cars and school buses and allow visitors to easily access a recently constructed outdoor classroom and educational signage.
- Ripley County Community Foundation (Ripley County)
$25,000 for tree planting, installation of water bottle filling stations and trash/recycling receptacles
The grant will fund the planting of trees and native plants in pollinator gardens and near trailheads. The funds will also support the purchase and installation of water bottle filling stations and trash and recycling receptacles.
- The Nature Conservancy (Jefferson, Putnam and Owen counties)
$10,000 for ecological enhancement
The grant will support reforestation efforts at Pennywort Cliffs Nature Preserve in Jefferson County, Big Walnut Nature Preserve in Putnam County and Green’s Bluff Nature Preserve in Owen County.
- Tree Lafayette (Tippecanoe County)
$15,000 for tree planting in Lafayette
The grant will support the planting of 40 trees along the streets of Lafayette in spring 2023. Many of the trees will be planted in underserved or low-income neighborhoods within the community.
- Vigo County 4-H Council (Vigo County)
$8,000 for tree planting at Vigo County Fairgrounds
The grant will fund the purchase and planting of a variety of trees at the Vigo County Fairgrounds, contributing to beautification efforts on the property and creating an inviting space for fairgoers and visitors.
- Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department (Vigo County)
$15,000 for osprey and eagle nesting platforms
The grant will fund the purchase and installation of two nesting platforms for eagles and ospreys at the top of two retired electric transmission towers at the Wabashiki Fish & Wildlife Area in West Terre Haute.
- Westfield-Washington Education Development Foundation (Hamilton County)
$15,000 for Shamrock Outdoor Learning Lab
The grant will support the Shamrock Outdoor Learning Lab, a green space that provides experiential learning opportunities for local schools, businesses and civic organizations to learn about water and soil conservation.
- Zionsville Parks Foundation (Boone County)
$14,970 for ecological enhancement at Zionsville Golf Course
The grant will support work to convert 3.53 acres of grass at Zionsville Golf Course into native plantings. The project will not only attract and support pollinators and other wildlife, but also reduce the amount of mowing required, thus reducing the golf course’s carbon footprint. Additionally, the grant will support the installation of signage to educate the community about the habitat restoration project and underscore the importance of supporting pollinator-friendly plants.
Duke Energy Indiana
Duke Energy Indiana, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, provides about 6,300 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 870,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it Indiana’s largest electric supplier.
Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The Foundation contributes more than $2 million annually in charitable gifts to Indiana and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the Foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at duke-energy.com/Foundation.
Contact: McKenzie Barbknecht