MERRILL — Oak Farm Montessori School in Avilla is the recipient of a $4,000 Environmental Action Grant from NIPSCO for its prairie and oak woodland restoration project.

NIPSCO recently announced recipients of its 2021 Environmental Action Grant program, awarded to 18 local organizations that applied for the funding earlier this year.

In its sixth year, NIPSCO’s Environmental Grant has donated $370,000 to date, helping 92 projects come to fruition across Northern Indiana.

This year’s projects include multiple wetland restoration projects, launch of Conservation Buddies at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana, continued support of pollinator habitats and corresponding education programs, a restoration project at Fulton County’s Richland Restoration Nature Park and support of a Smithsonian exhibit about water/ways in Kosciusko County. Additionally, support includes several projects at the Indiana Dunes, Indiana’s National Park.

In addition to Oak Farm, the 2021 NIPSCO Environmental Action Grant winners include:

• Beverly Shores Environmental Restoration Group, Teaching, learning and digging in the Dunes, $2,000

• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana, Conservation Buddies, $5,000

• Clear Lake Township Land Conservancy, Wetland restoration, $4,000

• Friends of the Fulton County Parks and Recreation Dept., Richland Restoration Nature Park, $5,000

• Indiana Audubon, 2021 Indiana Dunes Birding Festival, $3,000

• Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District, Soil testing and waterway improvement, $1,700

• Lake Maxinkuckee Environmental Council, Rain Barrel Brigade, $3,000

• Michiana Area Council of Governments, Crossway Trails Month, $2,900

• Miller Garden Club, Rain garden restoration, $4,100

• The Montessori School at WPC, Forest school gear, $3,500

• Northview Elementary School in Valparaiso, Girl Scout garden, $1,500

Environmental Action Grant Projects

• Save the Dunes Conservation Fund, Pollinator Week, $5,000

• The Student Conservation Association, Calumet Tree Conservation Corps, $5,000

• Town of Hebron Parks and Recreation Dept., Trail and property improvements, $5000

• The Watershed Foundation, Smithsonian Water/Ways exhibit

• Wellfield Botanic Gardens, Wellfield wetland conservation, $5,000

• The Wetlands Initiative, Habitat restoration and community engagement on Little Calumet River, $5,000

Using innovative conservation initiatives, NIPSCO is committed to maintaining its infrastructure while protecting the environment. In addition to Environmental Action Grant funding, NIPSCO works to establish early successional pollinator habitat on rights of way, forges partnerships with community organizations for restoration efforts and supports the planting of thousands of trees in Northern Indiana each year.

To learn more about what NIPSCO is doing to support the environment, visit

Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO), with headquarters in Merrillville, Indiana, has proudly served the energy needs of northern Indiana for more than 100 years. As Indiana’s largest natural gas distribution company and the second-largest electric distribution company, NIPSCO serves approximately 820,000 natural gas and 470,000 electric customers across 32 counties.

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