Duke Foundation awards grant for trees

Staff Reports

PLAINFIELD — Duke Energy Foundation has awarded $190,000 in grants to support environmental initiatives in Indiana communities, including a $10,000 stipend to plant 200 trees in Bartholomew County.

The grant, awarded to The Columbus Park Foundation, is entitled “200 Trees for 200 Years.”

The Columbus Park Foundation will partner with the city’s parks and recreation department, Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp., Bartholomew County Parks, Bartholomew County Soil and Water Conservation District and Columbus Tree Canopy Partners to plant trees through the community.

The project is designed to improve shade on sidewalks and trails, diversify the tree canopy, limit storm water runoff and erosion, ensure canopy continuity and improve air quality and neighborhood property, according to the application.

Duke Energy Foundation awarded 17 grants for this funding cycle, including projects to support water quality, conservation and habitat and forest restoration.

“Duke Energy is committed to responsible environmental stewardship and enhancing opportunities for outdoor recreation in the communities we serve,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar.

“That’s why we’re proud to partner with a number of local organizations that are doing meaningful work in our communities to promote environmental education and to preserve and restore Indiana’s land, water and habitats.”

Over the last five years, Duke Energy Foundation has awarded 58 grants totaling $946,000 to organizations across Indiana for projects that support environmental responsibility. One of the recipients of a $20,000 grant is the Blue River Community Foundation in Shelby County, which is working to construct a linear park behind the historic Porter Center.

Organizers are enhancing and revitalizing a portion of the Blue River Trail system by creating a rest area for trail users and a storybook trail for children. The park will be named after the flour mill that once stood at the site in the 1800s, Shelby Mills, said Jennifer Jones, executive director of the Blue River Community Foundation.