The first SustainIndy community grants were awarded to three Indianapolis organizations.
The grants, sponsored by the McKinney Family Foundation and Indianapolis Office of Sustainability, are designed to give financial support to organizations with grassroots initiatives to promote social and cultural activity, economic development, and/or the environment in the city.
"Indy is embracing sustainability wholeheartedly," said Melody Park, Director for the City's Office of Sustainability. "Initiatives that spark economic development, improve quality of life and protect our environment ensure a bright future for our community. The City is proud to partner with the McKinney family to provide funding and technical assistance to support these programs."
The three recipients were selected from among 30 applications. A total of $25,000 was distributed in the first round.
Butler University will utilize $10,000 to expand its Make Change program. The program rewards residents who improve the environmental quality of their neighborhoods with a type of "currency" credit to use at neighborhood businesses. The credit amount is based on the value of the activity in restoring the urban environment. Make Change currently operates in the Mid-North and Midtown areas of the city. Butler hopes to expand the program to the near east side and Fountain Square.
Millersville at Fall Creek Valley, Inc. will use $10,000 for the 56th Street Pocket Park and Pond Reclamation Project. The project will create a destination gathering place connecting the Fall Creek Greenway with 56th Street sidewalks and a nearby retail hob. The plan calls for the development of a pocket park and pond with bioengineered walls that will help sustain fish and wildlife in a natural habitat.
The Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis will use the remaining $5,000 for its Strings and Jazzy Things summer music camp for low income and disadvantaged middle school students. The funding will allow the camp to continue operations without a tuition charge from campers.
Applications are for the grants are accepted throughout the year and are reviewed each quarter. Information on the winning proposals and previously submitted proposals are available for review.