One of IPA’s signature funding priorities is the Project Assistance Program. Through a competitive process, each year IPA awards small grants to the local nonprofit friends groups who support Indiana’s state parks and nature preserves. The IPA Project Assistance Committee received six grant requests from local nonprofit friends groups in April. After evaluating each application, the committee decided that each of the proposed projects was worthy of support. The 2022 grant recipients are as follows:

Friends of Mounds State Park was awarded $1,000 to support the restoration of the historic Bronnenberg Home and to better interpret the site in Madison County, where the park is located.

Friends of Indiana Dunes awarded $1,000 to purchase and install ADA beach mats across the sand to ensure that wheelchair users and others with limited mobility can safely access Lake Michigan. Indiana Dunes State Park recently installed an ADA mat in another section of the beach.

Friends of Ouabache State Park received a $1,000 grant to launch Phase 2 of their invasive species management initiative, which includes stemming the spread of nonnative wisteria. Once the plot is cleared of invasives, the friends group and park staff will reestablish native plant species.

Falls of the Ohio Foundation received $1,000 to assist in purchasing equipment that will allow those with vision, hearing, and sensory challenges to fully experience Falls of the Ohio State Park’s interpretive center exhibits and programs.

Friends of Spring Mill State Park was awarded $1,000 to make improvements that will enhance the understanding and appreciation of Indiana’s pioneering distillery heritage. Historically accurate yet functional equipment will pump new life into the distillery.

Friends of Lieber State Recreation Area received $550 to purchase official soccer goals to install at an athletic field used primarily by soccer groups, who previously had to provide their own makeshift goals.