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The Indiana Parks Alliance (IPA) is a charitable organization that supports and advocates for Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) State Parks and Nature Preserves, and the people they serve through education, promotion, fundraising and assistance for local friends groups.

The Indiana Parks Alliance supports the rights of all people to have equal opportunities to peacefully enjoy interactions with nature. IPA will work to ensure marginalized communities are aware of the benefits of contact with nature. IPA pledges to seek and to support measures that create educational partnerships and inclusive policies that ensure an atmosphere where all can feel safe and respected while enjoying life outdoors.

We consider ourselves an organization of “doers” who advocate for and promote these public lands and the opportunities they provide. That’s why our partners are so important to us. IPA integrates their objectives into one agenda to create a unified network of action for the natural and cultural resources and facilities in our Indiana State Parks and Indiana Nature Preserves. Our partners include state parks, state-owned nature preserves, the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation, local friends groups and YOU as a member!


What We Do

• Advocacy
• Research
• Education
• Action

What You Should Know
We do not raise funds to acquire land; there are other organizations that focus their attention in that area. We do not raise funds for daily operational costs or routine maintenance for Indiana State Parks or state-owned Nature Preserves. We believe these should continue to be provided through user fees and Indiana’s State Budget process. We DO work to enhance the experiences of visitors, protect our natural and cultural resources and maintain a Hoosier legacy for generations to come.

Click to read the: IPA 2019 Annual Report

 


SAVE OUR ASH TREES!

The Indiana Parks Alliance is working with Indiana State Parks and Nature Preserves to protect 200+ mature, seed producing ash trees across the state to save this native species for the future.

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive insect that has killed tens of millions of ash trees since it first came to the U.S. in 2002. As of March 2017, EAB has been documented in all 92 counties in Indiana. Within the next ten years, 95% of all ash trees in Indiana will have been lost!

Click Here for more information AND to make your donation!


Wood Warbler Coffee was created to raise funds for the conservation of natural habitat for migratory song birds and other wildlife.

When you purchase Wood Warbler Coffee, you’re not only supporting bird and wildlife friendly farming practices in Latin America and beyond, you’re also supporting bird and wildlife habitat conservation right here in the U.S.A.!

CLICK HERE to purchase your bag of Indiana Parks Alliance Bird Song Blend SMBC today! This is a delicious blend of their Smithsonian bird friendly coffee.

Bird Song Blend SMBC
– Chocolate, Brown Sugar, Nutty, Caramel. Mild acidity and a clean, smooth finish
– Medium Roast
– 12 oz. or 5 lb. Bag


President’s Ponderings

By Tom Hohman

Tom @ Prophetstown SP 2

CALL TO ACTION
This is a critical time for conservation, and there are a lot of important decisions being made in Congress that will impact Indiana and our natural areas.  In addition, Indiana Department of Natural Resources properties, including state parks and nature preserves, will face great challenges in the next couple of years due to the revenue shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Indiana Parks Alliance is sending this special email to alert you to these issues and what you can do to help.

US CONGRESS
Great American Outdoors Act
This bipartisan bill will provide annual funding at the full authorized amount of $900 million for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).  As you may know, the LWCF is the nation’s leading program for conserving lands and waters, and it acquires lands for national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, Bureau of Land Management lands, and also provides funding for state and local parks.   Revenue for the LWCF comes from a share of offshore oil and gas leases.   Last year the U.S. Congress permanently reauthorized the LWCF, and this bill makes the annual funding permanent as well.  The bill also provides a major boost in annual funding for repairs and maintenance at our national parks and other federal outdoor lands — at least $1.9 billion a year for five years, to help address the backlog in repairing buildings, shelters, trails and other facilities at these beloved lands.

The bill passed the US Senate by a vote of 73 to 25.  It will be considered on the US House floor as soon as Wednesday July 22nd.  

Take action!  Please contact your U.S. representative and ask him or her to vote YES on the Great American Outdoors Act (H.R. 1957).  Find your representative and contact info here:  www.house.gov.   We recommend you call your Reps office since the vote may come soon.

Representatives Jackie Walorski (IN-2nd district) and Andre Carson (IN-7th district) have cosponsored the bill.

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act
In another positive development in Congress, the U.S. House added the language of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) to the major infrastructure bill, H.R. 2, which passed the House on July 1st.  The Recovering America’s Wildlife Act would make available new funding for states for their strategies and actions — contained in the state’s Wildlife Action Plan — to protect our most imperiled fish and wildlife species.   Indiana’s State Wildlife Action Plan was adopted in 2015 and can be found here:  https://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/7580.htm.   Indiana would receive an estimated $16 million annually if RAWA becomes law.

Please ask Senators Young and Braun to support RAWA in the Senate.
Contact them at www.senate.gov.

Indiana News
Along with its heartbreaking impact on human lives, and its devastating economic impact, the COVID-19 pandemic has also taken a toll on state budgets.   Indiana just completed its 2020 fiscal year, recording a $1.4 billion decline in expected revenue.  This revenue decline is expected to continue in fiscal year 2021.   As a result, state agencies including the Indiana DNR have been directed to reduce spending by 15%, and further cuts may come in the future.  The prospects for new conservation funding in the upcoming 2021-2023 state budget will be questionable.

Americans have responded to the pandemic in many different ways, and one noteworthy response is a healthy increase in outdoor activity.  All across the country, including Indiana, people are taking to trails, parks and other outdoor spaces in great numbers.  For example:  The Indiana Division of Outdoor Recreation reported that use of trails “…in March 2020 more than doubled, with a 108% increase from March 2019.  The monthly total for April 2020 finished at a record high of 255,035 trail users counted, a 45% increase from April 2019.”  This is based on trail use data collected from 57 trail counters throughout Indiana and analyzed by the DNR.   As reported by Ft. Wayne station WANE, “..a record number of Fort Wayne residents used the 120-mile trail network during this year’s second quarter of April, May and June, according to the City of Fort Wayne Public Works Division.”  And in Anderson, the Herald-Bulletin reported in May that bike and RV sales are surging.

While decisions on Indiana’s state budget will not be made until the legislative session in the first few months of 2021, members of the Indiana House of Representative and some of the members of the Indiana Senate will be running for election (or re-election) this November.  Please look for opportunities to ask them about their views on these budget issues, and stress how important these issues are to you.

Indiana Parks Alliance will continue to represent these views to legislators during the session.


If you would like help IPA with our mission, click on the Donate button below to make an electronic contribution today!