Company Awards Nearly $168,000 to 40 Community Improvement Projects
American Water (NYSE: AWK), the largest publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company, announced today the recipients of the company’s 2017 Environmental Grant Program awards. Forty projects throughout American Water’s service areas in 10 states will be supported by grants totaling nearly $168,000.
Established in 2005, American Water’s Environmental Grant Program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies in the communities it serves.
“Each of these 40 organizations has made a commitment to make a difference within the communities we serve and we are proud to support these projects and the people behind them,” said Susan Story, president and CEO of American Water. “After 12 years, our environmental grant program has provided more than $1.4 million of needed support for 413 projects to help improve, restore and protect our valuable natural resources through partnerships. We are very proud to work alongside these community partners and organizations to help safeguard our water resources.”Do you have the proper BMPs to prevent post-fire erosion control disasters, including landslides, rock falls, and mud and debris flow? Get ahead while there’s still time! Join our panel of experts for a 5-session Fire and Rain: Post-Fire Erosion Control webinar series (5 PDHs / 0.5 CEU) covering the ins and outs of post-fire erosion control applications, techniques, and best practices. Register at ForesterUniversity.com.
The 2017 grant recipients, which are located throughout American Water’s service areas, include the following:
Illinois American Water issued five grants totaling $20,300 to the following organizations:
• Foundation for Ohio River Education received a $2,500 grant to fund the Ohio River Sweep, which will supply gloves and trash bags to volunteers cleaning up the river.
• Gifts In The Moment Foundation received a $7,250 grant for the Urban Agriculture Rain Water Collection and Transportation System project, which will use collected rain to water community garden and agriculture sites via a portable water trailer.
• Heartlands Conservancy will use its $2,800 grant for the Signal Hills outdoor classroom project to create an outdoor classroom for students to learn about water quality and native habitat.
• Hickory Creek Watershed Planning Group will utilize their $4,200 grant for the Hickory Creek Environmental Interpretive Signs and Story Mapping project. The project focuses on raising awareness about best management practices within the Hickory Creek watershed. Three rain gardens will also be installed.
• Pekin Park District received a $2,000 grant for the continued Lick Creek Watershed Invasive Species Control and Restoration project to eliminate invasive species along the Lick Creek corridor.
• Peoria Park District was awarded a $550 grant to support the annual Illinois River Sweep, which will supply two dumpsters and complete tire recycling.
• Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum received a $1,000 grant for the Wonders of Water project, which will support five scholarships to the water camp. Illinois American Water’s team will offer lessons at the camp.
Indiana American Water issued three grants totaling $11,000 to the following organizations:
• Chances & Services for Youth was awarded $2,500 to install a splash pad at Booker T. Washington Park in Terre Haute, Ind. that includes a gray water component and several other conservation features. The project includes a 1,200-gallon holding tank for collection of the gray water, which will be used to irrigate a community garden located next to the splash pad.
• City of Kokomo received $5,000 for the Washington Street Stream Bank Modification Project. The City of Kokomo is partnering with several local organizations to remove concrete debris, fill material and several storage buildings along the Wildcat Creek at Washington Street near the site of a senior living facility that is under construction. Funds from this grant will be used to help control erosion and revegetate the stream bank with native plants.
• City of Gary was awarded $3,500 for the Tree Planting & Maintenance/Education Project. The City of Gary, Ind. Department of Environmental Affairs will be coordinating with several organizations to plant approximately 100 trees within the Little Calumet River watershed. The project also includes retrofitting a trailer to water the trees, and conducting a public education and outreach program on the environmental and quality of life benefits that trees provide and how to properly plant and maintain them,
Iowa American Water issued five grants totaling nearly $8,500 to the following organizations:
• City of Davenport Parks & Recreation Department was awarded $2,500 for its Water Quality Improvement Project in VanderVeer Botanical Park’s Lagoon. The project will decrease the level of nitrates, nitrites and phosphates with the installation of BioHaven floating islands.
• Scott Community College Environmental Club will use its $2,000 for its Crow Creek Watershed Protection and Biodiversity Project. The project will restore six acres of tallgrass prairie in the Crow Creek drainage basin, erosion and runoff to the creek will be reduced resulting in better water quality, and biodiversity will be increased on the site as native species of grasses and forbs will be restored.
• Nahant Marsh Education Center was awarded $1,875 for its Sedge Meadow Restoration and Enhancement project, Phase II. Nahant Marsh staff and volunteers will expand prairie and sedge meadow restoration efforts to include an additional eight acres for a total of 15.5 acres.
• River Action, Inc. will utilize a $1,200 grant for its Retain the Rain Interactive Display project, which will update an interactive Retain the Rain kiosk to include bioreactors and floating wetland islands, increase kiosk visibility and user ship. Kiosk will be upgraded from 250-pound unit to a light 55-pound unit with a touchscreen display.
• Prince of Peace Catholic School A.P. Environment Class was awarded $850 for its Watershed Restoration Project. Students have begun a labor-intensive restoration of a small marsh, invaded by Phragmites reeds. Over the next decade, the class will continue removing this invasive plant and publicize progress in restoring the watershed and encouraging other landowners’ restoration efforts.
Kentucky American Water issued four grants totaling $13,700 for the following projects:
• Water Quality Improvements through Waste Tire Collection and Removal coordinated by the city of Winchester in partnership with the Clark County Solid Waste Department, the Clark County Jail and the citizens of Winchester, will utilize its grant to educate citizens about the potential threat to water quality and human health that stockpiling old tires creates, and assist in the removal of the equivalent of 1,000 passenger waste tires over a two-month period.
• Riparian Vegetation Showcase on Wolf Run: Community Garden, coordinated by the Friends of Parks of Fayette County in partnership with the Friends of Wolf Run, Fayette County Public Schools, Bluegrass Woodland Restoration Center and Good Foods Co-Op, will use its grant to extend a vegetative buffer along a branch of Wolf Run Creek on formerly residential property acquired by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government. The riparian greenway established will include a community garden that will serve as a teaching garden, as well, for nearby high school students and others. The project also involves projects to remove invasive species, weeds and trash.
• Data Driven Clean Water, coordinated by the Licking River Watershed Watch in partnership with Strodes Creek Conservancy, the City of Millersburg, Bourbon County Planning Office, Millersburg Garden Club, Green Thumb Club, J. Sweitzer Canoe and 3M Company, will use its grant to engage volunteers to conduct water quality monitoring of creeks and streams in multiple counties in the Licking River watershed as well as complete a rain garden project and creek and stream cleanups in the area, engaging multiple organizations and citizens.
• Innovative Conservation Easement Tracking and Reporting Project, coordinated by The Nature Conservancy in partnership with landowners along the Kentucky River, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and more, will use its funds to purchase equipment to assist in the tracking and reporting of conservation easements while providing additional support for the Fire Management Program in the same areas.
Missouri American Water issued three grants totaling $29,500 to the following organizations:
• St. Louis ArtWorks will use its $15,000 grant to support one of ArtWorks’ Summer Apprentice Programs called BloomWorks. In a partnership with Great Rivers Greenway and Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, St. Louis ArtWorks will be providing job training through a three-dimensional design program where teen apprentices will create a wayfinding sculpture depicting the Missouri River Watershed that will be installed near Boone’s Crossing at the Katy Trail.
• Missouri River Relief received a $10,000 grant for a river cleanup project on the Missouri River.
• Wildcat Glades will use its $4,500 for the 8th Annual Shoal Creek Water Festival, an event that promotes watershed protection for the main source of drinking water in Joplin, Mo. Activities range from cardboard boat races to a fishing derby.
New Jersey American Water issued three grants totaling $29,000 to the following organizations:
• Bridgewater Township Environmental Commission was awarded $6,500 to install a demonstrative native plant garden with bee-friendly habitat and bee-friendly water bath at the Bridgewater Library. This project will provide continuous education to the citizens of the Bridgewater Community as well as the residents of Somerset County.
• Manasquan Board Riders Club will utilize its $2,500 grant to establish a year-round project aimed at enhancing environmental awareness and stewardship on keeping beaches, parks, coastal waterways and estuaries litter free, titled “Leave Only Your Footprints.”
• South Orange Township will use its $10,000 grant to build a Rain Park based on the premise of a rain garden that will capture storm water runoff that normally flows directly into the East Branch of the Rahway River. Rain parks use native plants, infiltration, and innovative design to reduce large amounts of rainwater, create play spaces for kids, relaxing destinations for friends, and examples of sustainability.
• Stockton University American Association of University Women (AAUW) was awarded $10,000 to enhance a summer camp course, “Our Water” located at New Jersey’s only TechTrek Camp. This program will immerse these students in weeklong hands-on environmental science curriculum, featuring take-home watershed protection projects that each student can bring back to her home watershed management area.
Pennsylvania American Water issued eight grants totaling nearly $30,000 to the following organizations:
• Allegheny Land Trust was awarded a grant for dumpsite cleanups at Dead Man’s Hollow Conservation Area, a protected green space with several tributaries to the Youghiogheny River. The cleanups will allow further habitat restoration and stream water monitoring.
• California University of Pennsylvania will use its funding to support a fish and macroinvertebrate survey of the Youghiogheny River that will enhance water quality management, along with existing survey information. The information will also be used for continued monitoring by local school groups within the watershed.
• Delaware River Basin Commission will use its grant to purchase markers and equipment that the Boy Scouts will apply on storm drains in the Yardley and Nazareth areas, alerting residents about their impact on the Delaware River Watershed.
• Misericordia University, in partnership with Lehman Sanctuary, will use its funds to install and utilize advanced telemetry equipment to monitor water quality on the sanctuary’s property. The project will advance understanding of the biodiversity and allow remote monitoring of environmental conditions for school groups at the location
• River Alert Information Network will use its grant monies to coordinate watershed groups along with the Allegheny Watershed Alliance to identify local source water protection issues. Additionally, informational literature will be developed to educate community groups on source water protection.
• South Fayette Conservation Group will purchase a groundwater and rainmaker model to be used as a hands-on educational tool to help students better understand point source and non-point pollution.
• Upper Allen Township’s grant will support a riparian buffer project in Simpson Park along the Yellow Breeches Creek. Volunteers will plant new trees and shrubs to help stabilize the streambank as part of an ongoing riparian project.
• West Norriton Township will use its funding to support the Schuylkill River Invasive Weeds project, aimed at removing invasive plant species from the Norristown Basin, improving water quality along the river and habitats for wildlife.
Tennessee American Water issued three grants totaling $10,000 to the following organizations:
• Hamilton County Coalition was awarded $4,500 to expand its community drug take-back project. Expansion will increase awareness and reduce the pharmaceuticals in water supply and keep potentially dangerous medications off the streets to prevent overdose and abuse.
• Lookout Mountain Conservancy will use its $3,000 grant for a watershed improvement through partnership with the Howard School leadership & Intern Program and a ninth Grade Environmental Science class on the Lookout Mountain Conservancy property as an outdoor classroom.
• TennesSEA (Student Environmental Alliance) will use its $2500 grant monies to initiate a community-based watershed alliance in which local residents, business owners, and school children work together to protect and restore the Mountain Creek and Stringer’s Branch watersheds. Participants will beta test a new “Water Watch Mobile App” to get Stream Teams out into the creeks to check water quality, reporting the data and findings back through the app.
West Virginia American Water is issuing six grants totaling $15,360 to the following organizations:
• Capitol Conservation District will use its $2,500 grant for their Soil Tunnel Trailer.
• Boone County Career & Technical Center was awarded $3,100 to purchase Riparian buffers and educational packets as part of a watershed clean-up project.
• Ernie Nester Chapter Trout Unlimited was awarded $500 for temperature monitoring for Trout in the Classroom.
• Marshall University will use its $2,000 for the Creek Geek watershed education program.
• Ona Elementary School will receive $1,760 for creation of a classroom living stream.
• West Virginia University Extension Service will use its $5,000 grant monies for a mobile livestock facility.
• Southern Appalachian Labor School was awarded $500 for the purchase of collection containers during the drug take-back program.
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly-traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting www.amwater.com.