Community Foundation awards $154,000 in Creating Community Grants

The Community Foundation has awarded nine nonprofit organizations with Creating Community Grants to foster vibrancy, quality of place, and livability in Monroe County.

The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County (CFBMC) has awarded nine nonprofit organizations with Creating Community Grants. A total of $154,036 has been awarded as part of this funding initiative.

Following a year in which many federal, state, and other local funders were, by necessity, focused primarily on meeting basic needs, the Community Foundation was able to open the Creating Community competitive granting program in September with a focus on restoring and enhancing the overall livability of our community. Grants awarded through this program will foster our community’s vibrancy, quality of place, and livability through supporting and enhancing the amenities that make Monroe County an attractive place to call home.

“We had an incredible response to this grant opportunity and welcomed proposals from many organizations that have not previously applied for a Community Foundation grant,” said President and CEO Tina Peterson. “Our grant committee was delighted to learn more about the amazing work of these dedicated organizations, and we are proud of the potential that the nine grants will have in creating a more inclusive, attractive, and thriving community for everyone to visit, live, work, and play.”

Grants were awarded in amounts ranging in size from $10,000 to $25,000 for a total of $154,036.

Cancer Support Community South Central Indiana to develop a mural and launch a therapeutic art program – CSCCI has a new building where as many as 1,800 cancer patients, families, and caregivers receive free support programs beyond clinical care. This grant will fund a mural that inspires hope near the entrance and an art therapy program to complement existing support services.

Canopy Bloomington to pilot the “Youth Tree Tenders” program. This education and awareness initiative will employ six high-risk teens to learn about urban forestry, enhance Bloomington’s existing trees, plant new trees in low-canopy neighborhoods, and improve environmental literacy in the community.

Danny Smith Memorial Park to fund renovations to this community park near Unionville. As the only park in northeastern Monroe County, this multi-use gathering and play space serves 5,600 nearby residents through a variety of recreational activities. These enhancements will fund a new playground and update an existing playground and basketball court.

Edgewood Early Childhood Center to construct a new outdoor shelter for outdoor classes and community events. While current COVID protocols do not allow parents or visitors inside the Center, this new covered shelter will include seating for parents and guardians to join their child(ren) for meals and create a permanent gathering site for educational and community events.

Friends of Lake Monroe to support the Lake Monroe Watershed Management Plan and a contract watershed coordinator. A watershed coordinator will develop education and outreach to protect and enhance Lake Monroe. The coordinator will organize community forums and launch a pilot program to assist homeowners in maintaining septic systems.

Indiana University Arts & Sciences Council to support the “Granfalloon” event scheduled for June 2022. Inspired by Hoosier author Kurt Vonnegut, this festival celebrates civic engagement, independent thought, art, and creativity.Grant funding will support programming and speakers on the topics of advancing local diversity and inclusion, environmental advocacy, and sustainability.

The Project School to install a small learning garden and creative play space. Located on a formerly vacant lot, this “mini-park” will feature raised gardens, storage sheds, art installations, and green space. The multi-use space will be open to the public and used for a variety of educational and recreational programs.

Sycamore Land Trust to restore and stabilize streambanks and trails at the Powell Preserve along Beanblossom Creek. Funding will allow SLT to install erosion control measures, protect access to trails, and improve the water quality along the creek. Once these and other needed enhancements are completed, the preserve will reopen to the public.

WFHB – Bloomington Community Radio to resume the Youth Radio program. This program aims to train youth ages 13-20 with skills in broadcast radio, podcasting, and journalistic reporting to produce live programming each week. WFHB hopes to involve 25 young people in the program each year with an emphasis on underserved youth as well as equity, diversity, and inclusion.

The Creating Community Grant program is co-funded by Smithville Charitable Foundation and made possible through unrestricted funds at the Community Foundation and designated field of interest funds established to support areas of focus.

“We are grateful for the generosity of Smithville Charitable Foundation and Community Foundation donors for entrusting us to invest in innovative programs and ideas that improve the quality of life for all who call Bloomington and Monroe County home,” added Peterson.

This grant program is one of two competitive grant cycles planned for the Community Foundation’s fiscal year (July 1 – June 30). The second competitive grant program will occur in the spring of 2022. For more details on Community Foundation grant programs, visit our website or contact Program Director Marcus Whited at 812.333.9016 or [email protected].

About Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County:

Created by individuals, families, and businesses who share a passion for Monroe County and a vision for its future, the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County has granted more than $27 million since its incorporation in 1990. With a growing $44 million endowment, the Foundation makes a difference by connecting caring people, important causes, and community resources.

About Smithville Charitable Foundation: Inspired by altruism, The Smithville Charitable Foundation was established in 2007 to enrich lives by creating opportunities and bringing necessities to the communities served by Smithville Communications. As a private foundation, Smithville Charitable Foundation works closely with community foundations in the 17 counties of its service territory to support a variety of causes related to religion, education, health, the arts, relief of poverty or distress, and various public organizations.