Initiative Helps Hoosiers Get Environmental Resilience Funding

Planting trees, updating streetlights to LED bulbs and installing "green" roofs all are examples of climate resilience projects. (Adobe stock)

A funding hub has launched in Indiana, designed to help small communities pursue federal funding for climate, energy and resilience projects.

The mission of the Indiana Resilience Funding Hub is to assist communities with fewer than 50,000 residents access federal dollars for their projects.

Bill Brown, assistant director of strategy and engagement for the Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University, feels many communities are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the opportunities available through the Inflation Reduction Act, which invests $369 billion in energy security and climate change mitigation over the next 10 years.

"Our goal for this pilot year is to work with five to eight communities and help them get started on the path to applying for grant funding," Brown explained. "We've found out that there are a lot more communities out there that are interested, that are looking, and talking to us about projects that they would like to move forward."

Brown said grant money can help small communities make an impact by providing funding for projects like replacing street lighting with LED lighting. He noted LED is cheaper than traditional lighting and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Brown pointed out a couple communities are looking at what they can do with a micro grid with renewable energy, which would allow them to keep water and sewer plants working during a main grid failure.

"We've been answering questions for communities that have been digging into some of these grant opportunities, participating in calls with them to explain the nature of some of these programs, and let them know if they're qualified," Brown outlined. "Then also, what the timeline might be for their applications."

Brown added the focus at the moment is spreading the word about the grant application assistance.

By  Joey Graham, Producer

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