Indiana American Water announced today that it is awarding more than $10,000 to four organizations across the state as part of its 2012 Environmental Grant Program. Winners include the Wabash Park Department, Gary Storm Water Management District, Motivate our Minds program in Muncie and the Stage One family theatre in southern Indiana.
Established in 2005, the companys Environmental Grant Program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects that impr ove, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies in the communities it serves.
Although we received more than a dozen entries this year as a part of this program, there were four organizations in particular that we felt de monstrated they were taking a leadership position in their communities to ensure our most precious resource is being well taken care of, said Alan DeBoy, president of Indiana American Water.
The availability of a safe, clean water supply is an important component of ensuring a high quality of life in all of the communities we serve across the state, DeBoy continued. Equally important is that communities recognize the value of the local waterways that are a valuable asset to residents. The environmental grants we are aw arding to these organizations help us to support those efforts by encouraging wise stewardship of our water resources.
All grant recipients will submit a report at the end of the year to American Water regarding how their grant was used to achieve their specific environmental goals.
Wabash Riverwalk Vegetated Storm water Swale
The City of Wabash will use its grant to complete a 70-foot long vegetated storm water swale located within a parking lot for a new section of pedestrian trail along the Wabash River. The swale will help enhance and preserve water qualit y by capturing and filtering storm water runoff from this parking area and adjoining street surfac es that would otherwise end up in the Wabash River.
Water Quality Stewardship Project
This grant will be used for a community-wide, multi-stakeholder stewardship project to improve water quality through community clean ups, education and outreach, and a rain garden project. The district and its partners will launch a stewardship campaign to increase local residents participation and involvement in community cl eanups and design a watershed management and green infrastructure/low-impact development (LID) project that will improve water quality in areas basins.
Environmental Demonstration Project Whitely neighborhood in Muncie
Grant funds will be used to help fund construction of an environmental learning center for Motivate Our Minds students and the Whitely community in Muncie. The center will expand existing learning opportunities by serving as a classroom teaching tool and this grant will help teaching faculty to incorporate water education in to the classroom. The project incorporates a rain garden, pervious concrete parking lot and a sustainable learn & playground component. Motivate Our Minds is a program aimed at helping under-served students from Delaware County, first through eighth grade. MOMs is an educa tion enrichment center and a positive learning atmosphere for the children it serves.
Eco Drama Education Program
The Stage One Family Theatre will use its funds to educate very young citizens of Southern Indiana and the Louisville area about the environment through the inter-disciplinary exploration of drama and science. The Eco Drama program is critical because it reaches students at a young, impressionable age and teaches them to be environmental stewards. Specifically, the program gives students a firm understanding of source water protection, conservation and other environmental issues and then encourages them to take action on environmental issues, including water source clean up projects.
Indiana American Water, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the stat e, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to more than 1.2 million people. Founded in 1886, Amer ican Water is the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs approximately 7,000 dedicated professionals who provide drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in more than 30 states and parts of Canada.