Abandoned railroad corridor and hands-on nature education programs earn IPL Golden Eagle Environmental Grants, public support
October 15, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS – Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) announces the recipients of the 2012 IPL Golden Eagle Environmental Grants, which support nonprofit environmental stewardship projects in the community and award up to $10,000 each to the top three recipients. New this year, IPL sought input from the public to help select the Golden Eagle grant recipients. Nonprofit organizations receiving the top IPL Golden Eagle Environmental Grants of up to $10,000 each are:
• B&O Trail Association Inc.• Camptown, Inc.• The Indiana Historical SocietyFive other organizations were chosen as runners-up and will receive grants from IPL of $1,000 each for their environmental projects. IPL Golden Eagle Environmental Grants provide funds for projects that will preserve, protect, enhance, or restore environmental and biological resources throughout IPL’s operating territory. Since 1993, IPL has contributed more than $1.2 million through this program.This year, IPL partnered with Emmis Communications to broaden involvement in the IPL Golden Eagle Environmental Grants process by inviting members of the public to vote for their favorite project at WIBC.com.
Project descriptions and biographies of recipients of the 2012 IPL Golden Eagle Environmental Grants are listed below.
B&O Trail Association Inc.B&O Trail Association Inc. is planning to purchase the abandoned railroad corridor gap (7.4 acres) between the two constructed areas of the B&O Trail in Hendricks County. The current gap is unsafe for inexperienced bicyclists, children, seniors, and trail users in general. Many are unwilling to use the trail at all. The connection would serve more than 30,000 trail users per year. Plus, the B&O Trail is one of Governor Mitch Daniels’ Hoosiers on the Move Visionary Trails. Environmentally, purchasing the corridor gap will increase the amount of park land in Hendricks County and ensure the native ecosystem will be preserved. Camptown, Inc.Camptown, Inc. provides Indianapolis area students with hands-on environmental education and nature experiences. Serving a generation that is mostly detached from nature, Camptown takes the concepts of “reduce, reuse, and recycle” youths learn in classrooms and uses real nature experiences to demonstrate why conservation is important. In 2012, this program will offer environmental stewardship skills to more than 3,000 youths in Marion and surrounding counties. The entire community stands to benefit from youths becoming actively involved in caring for the natural environment through Camptown programs such as “How Wild Is your School” and Eco Camp Day.The Indiana Historical SocietyThe Indiana Historical Society is working on its ninth installment of its “You Are There” series, titled “1913: A City Under Water.” Visitors are encouraged to engage in this living history experience by stepping back in time into an Indianapolis relief station during the Great Flood of 1913. This activity gives guests the opportunity to learn history firsthand and interact with first-person interpreters as they walk through the elements of this “real” event. The series also serves to educate the public and students on Indiana history, as well as the environmental effects of local flooding.
Binford Redevelopment and Growth (BRAG)Eastwood Park is a project in which three adjacent lots are planned to be purchased to create a green space nature park for the local neighborhood and school. BRAG, a neighborhood association, has agreed to improve the local area through grassroots efforts to preserve the full-growth mature trees already on the land. The plant beds and trees will serve as educational tools for school science programs, and construction of a shelter house will provide a gathering place. The planned park will be within walking distance to more than 1,500 families and will be connected via a multi-use trail and paved sidewalk.Haven GardenHaven Garden is a 2,100-square foot urban garden located in the historic King Park area. Produce from the garden is given to the Julian Center, which provides emergency shelter to more than 1,200 women and children each year. New vinyl, animal-prohibitive fencing around the garden, as well as rain barrels and drip irrigation supplies will be installed to form a sustainable system. This will beautify the garden, reduce storm water runoff, reduce water and energy consumption, and promote rainwater recycling. This process will be documented to educate other organizations, schools, and community groups on how to build their own urban gardens.Indy Urban AcresIndy Urban Acres is an eight-acre organic farm on the city’s east side, which grows and harvests organic produce. Gleaners Food Bank distributes the produce grown there to local food pantries. Ideally, the produce harvested in the morning is on dinner plates in the evening. By the end of 2012, this farm is anticipated to have produced 25,000 pounds of food since it began operating in 2011. Indy Urban Acres also offers volunteer opportunities to the local community and educates people about the benefits of growing their own food and consuming local produce. During the summers, Indy Urban Acres educates youth about organic farming and healthy lifestyles. Millersville at Fall Creek Valley, Inc.The Millersville at Fall Creek Valley, Inc. 56th Street Pond Reclamation Project will transform a weed-infested acre of land into a setting for recreational use and a source of pride for the Millersville area on the city’s northeast side. The first phase of beautification will clear the pond of invasive plants and plant native grass seed. Next, a maintenance plan will be developed to prevent any regrowth, as well as to beautify the pond for a master landscape architectural plan including a path, a boardwalk, and benches. Local schools and community outreach will offer opportunities for volunteers and education regarding natural habitats.Windridge Condominium Homeowners AssociationWindridge is a nonprofit condominium community with 221 units across 84 acres of wooded terrain, directly adjacent to Fall Creek. Heavy volume of rain water in the area leads to an enormous amount of soil sediment, and invasive plants have begun taking over the native plants on the grounds. Windridge is proposing a green infrastructure as an environmentally responsible storm water solution. The green infrastructure will benefit households of Windridge, as well as the city, since everyone depends on clean, low-cost drinking water. Windridge would like to engage local schools to promote environmental education as it builds a green infrastructure.
About Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL): Indianapolis Power & Light Company provides retail electric service to more than 470,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Indianapolis, as well as portions of other Central Indiana Communities surrounding Marion County. During its long history, IPL has supplied its customers with some of the lowest-cost, most reliable power in the country. For more information about the company, visit www.IPLpower.com.
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