Indiana American Water Announces 2020 Environmental Grant Program Winners

GREENWOOD, Ind. (July 15, 2020) Indiana American Water today announced that it is awarding $10,000 to five organizations across the state as part of its 2020 Environmental Grant Program. Winners include the Friends of Marquette Park in Lake County, the Indiana Conservation Partnership, the Friends of Sugar Creek in Montgomery County, and the cities of West Lafayette and Gary, Ind.

Established in 2005, the company’s Environmental Grant Program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or ground water supplies in communities served by Indiana American Water.

“Even with the challenges we’re facing during the current COVID-19 public health emergency, we had many entries as a part of the program this year,” said Indiana American Water President Matt Prine. “We appreciate the dedication and focus these organizations all have to protecting and enhancing our local waterways. Our water resources are an important part of our daily lives and the quality of life in our communities, and each of these organizations is making a difference through their efforts and these projects.”

Each of the organizations selected will receive $2,000 for their environmental projects.

The 2020 Indiana American Water Environmental Grant Program winners are:

City of Gary—Clean Water Accessibility for Green Infrastructure Maintenance
The City of Gary, in partnership with the Gary Youth Services Bureau and the Student Conservation Association, will use its funds to increase watershed protection in the Lake Michigan watershed by developing a green infrastructure maintenance plan for the city’s urban conservation team and community growers and farmers. The plan will include training and educational sessions and materials for municipal employees and community groups, and developing an operating procedures manual for the city’s water trailer, which uses potable water for tree plantings, green infrastructure maintenance, and watering community gardens that don’t have access to a nearby water source.

City of West Lafayette—Wiggins Street Native Tree, Shrub & Grass Planting Project
The City of West Lafayette, in partnership with the West Lafayette Tree Friends and the Tippecanoe Invasive Cooperative Taskforce, will use funding to remove invasive shrubs along Wiggins Street near the Purdue University campus and install native trees, shrubs and grasses. The project will have numerous environmental benefits, including reducing stormwater runoff and erosion and sequestering hundreds of pounds of carbon annually.

Friends of Marquette Park—Respect and Protect Lake Michigan Project
The Friends of Marquette Park, in partnership with several other local groups, will use funding to create educational materials, programs and displays on protecting Lake Michigan and the Marquette Park beach and surrounding shorelines by practicing safe and contaminant-free recreation.

Friends of Sugar Creek in Montgomery County—Adopt-a-Storm-Drain Program
The Friends of Sugar Creek in Montgomery County will use its funds to develop, operate and engage local residents to pledge 15 minutes a month to ensure a cleaner watershed and a healthier Sugar Creek through its Adopt-a-Storm-Drain program. Participants will pledge to keep drains free of trash, leaves, and other debris and to report progress on an interactive website.

Indiana Conservation Partnership—Expansion of the Pathway to Water Quality Exhibit
The Indiana Conservation Partnership, in partnership with several other groups/agencies, will use funding to expand the Pathway to Water Quality exhibit at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The exhibit has been helping to protect source water since 1993 by providing hands-on water quality education to State Fair attendees. Grant funding will be used to help expand the exhibit in time for the 2021 Indiana State Fair, including preparing for increased live demonstrations, visitor seating and septic education.