MERRILLVILLE - Merrillville-based NIPSCO has awarded 15 local nonprofit organizations grants totaling $50,000 to help fund local restoration and education projects. Recipients include the Porter County Conservation Trust, Highland Community Foundation and the Michigan City Parks Department, among others. 

NIPSCO says the grants are part of its effort to use innovative conservation initiatives to maintain its infrastructure while helping to protect the environment. 

This year’s grant winners include: 

  • ACRES Land Trust, Trine University restoration partnership
  • Highland Community Foundation, community tree canopy project 
  • Lake Station Community Schools, pollinator garden 
  • Little River Wetlands Project, urban turtle education and conservation efforts 
  • Michiana Area Council of Governments, Partners for Clean Air/Bicycle Parking Project 
  • Michigan City Parks Department, Trail Creek Week 
  • NICHES Land Trust, environmental steward docent training
  • the Porter County Chapter of Izaak Walton League of America, E-STEAM in the Field 
  • Porter County Conservation Trust, Eagle Scout project 
  • Sisters of the Holy Cross, Urban reforestation and pollinator support 
  • St. Joseph County Parks Foundation, playscape native plantings
  •  The Nature Conservancy in Indiana, East Chicago Monarch outreach and habitat support
  •  Town of Chesterton, Coffee Creek Park riparian restoration project 
  • Town of Churubusco/Smith-Green Community Schools, rain garden 
  • IU Kokomo, Camp Persimmon environmental sustainability day camp 

“The projects funded through the Environmental Action Grant embody the vision of our conservation framework,” said Brian Kortum, NIPSCO manager of natural resources permitting, in a news release. “Together with our neighboring communities and conservation groups we are striving to be a leader in the preservation, protection and restoration of critical habitats.”