WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Thanks to the United Way of the Wabash Valley, 10 projects throughout the area will receive “mini-grants” totaling over $41,000.

With the goal of improving the quality of life in several neighborhoods across the Wabash Valley, United Way is giving up to $5,000 in grant funding to a variety of non-profit projects, programs, and events.

The grants come from a 3rd round of Neighborhood Improvement Project funding from United Way’s Strong Neighborhood Impact Council, which aims to create safe, vibrant, and inclusive neighborhoods for the people in the community. To reach this goal, the Impact Council is working together with organizations and residents to build thriving communities where residents feel safe and connected to one another. Ranging from projects in public areas, landscaping, the support of public art projects, and more, the Neighborhood Improvement Projects include: 

  1. Mini Lending Libraries: Created by Hamilton Center, the Lending Libraries will be installed in seven different locations across 5 counties. Each Lending Library will be filled with donated books that are free for the community to enjoy. Each library will also double as a place to post information about community events.
  2. 12 Points Beautification Project: As a part of the 12 Points Revitalization Initiative, this will include useful items like a bus stop shell/cover, trash cans, benches, and signs. The project will also include installing new landscape beds and planters. All these improvements will add visual appeal and encourage pedestrian traffic.
  3. Central Elementary School Greenhouse: The Vermillion County EDC is working to build a community garden at Central Elementary School in Clinton, including raised beds and a greenhouse. This project aims to create a gathering space for students, encourage healthy lifestyles centered around healthy eating, and improve the vitality of the surrounding community.
  4. Geulah Ministry Garden: The Geulah Ministry is planning to install a perimeter of fruit trees around an empty lot, along with a vineyard, pollinators, and a community produce garden. The new gardens will give people in the community a meeting space and encourage healthy eating.
  5. Solar Lights Community Garden: This project will help reTHINK create and install four solar-powered pillar lights in the community garden. The solar lights will be built to last using pressured lumber for framing and will use locally manufactured panels made of recycled plastic from reTHINK’s plastic upcycling center. The project will help to provide outdoor lighting in the neighborhood as well as double as a blessings box. 
  6. The Lab Concert Series: In a partnership between the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra and Three Sisters Investments a 3-event chamber music series is coming to the Ryves neighborhood. The concert series will feature small ensembles of Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra musicians like brass, string, or woodwind quintets, inviting people in the community to enjoy more music-centered gathering opportunities.
  7. Terre Haute TruckStop Upgrade: The food truck organization, “The TruckStop Indy”, will work to improve accessibility in the TruckStop 12 Points by focusing on lighting, concrete, increased seating, plants, and dog waste stations. This is also part of a bigger ongoing project that will bring more food and beverage options to the neighborhood that are local and affordable. It will also give people in the community a place to relax and gather.
  8. Herz-Rose Park Sculpture Project: As part of a larger project by Wabash Valley Art Spaces, the funding will support a future public art project in Herz-Rose Park designed by artist Greg Mueller. The art installation is designed to support the neighborhood’s interest in better communication and connection. The project will add a unique element to the Ryves neighborhood while also giving people a way to creatively connect with one another while improving neighborhood pride. 
  9. 12 Points Library Splash Pad: The funding will help to support the Vigo County Public Library in their addition of a splash pad to the outdoor area as a part of the upcoming 12 Points Vigo County Public Library branch. The water used in the splash pad will then be captured and recycled to water plants on the property, including a raised bed garden. 
  10. Summer Camp at Spencer Ball Park: To help support a part of a larger project, the grant will help the Terre Haute Area Association of Realtors, support a community service project for campers who are participating in the summer camp at Spencer Ball Park. As part of their camp program, the campers will help improve the park by planting flowers and painting a park building. This project will help the children be involved in improving their community. 

The progress of all ten projects will help to improve the neighborhoods and communities of the Wabash Valley and will be implemented throughout this spring and summer. 

“In this third round of funding, we continued to be amazed by the creative projects proposed by community groups to improve safety and connectedness in our neighborhoods. We were also pleased to see applications from organizations that had never applied for United Way funding before. These projects are wonderful examples of neighbors working together to elevate their communities,” said Dorothy Chambers, the Community Impact Manager for United Way.

For those interested in donating or getting involved, call (812) 235-6287 or visit United Way of the Wabash Valley’s website.