Apex Clean Energy has awarded $5,000 in its second round of grants within Piatt County as part of the Goose Creek Wind Community Grant Program. These funds are allocated to support programs that serve the community through economic development, environmental sustainability, education, and health and recreation.

This round of grantees includes the Piatt County Soil & Water Conservation District, the Hope Lives Youth Ranch, Dove Inc.’s Domestic Violence Program, and the Monticello Police Department.

The awardees

The Piatt County Soil & Water Conservation District currently works with landowners to provide cost assistance programs and education for producers to implement conservation practices that protect natural resources. It also hosts events aiding in the protection of the environment such as tire recycling, oil recycling, electronics recycling, fish sales, tree sales, and field demonstration. Resource Conservationist Jonah Totten stated: “Goose Creek Wind’s grant is going to help us update our land surveying equipment to GPS technology. It will allow for more conservation projects that reduce nutrient loads and sediment to local waterbodies, decreasing pollution and habitat degradation.”

The goal of the Hope Lives Youth Ranch is to help at-risk youth develop confidence and leadership skills by working with horses. As the program grows, the goal is to give the students the opportunity to work with animals who have similar backgrounds. Director Emily Reichman said: “We needed to move our water hydrant closer to our barn. That entailed digging a trench from the well to the barn, laying the piping, and installing a new hydrant in a sheltered area. The old hydrant location was within an open well and the exposed pipe froze in the winter. We were forced to haul water from our house in buckets, and now we can avoid the risk of injuries in the winter! We appreciate the support from Apex!”

Dove Inc.’s Domestic Violence Program helps clients who are in the middle of a financial hardship escape the horrific situations they are facing. Liz Mackey, Dove’s Piatt County coordinator, said: “The Domestic Violence Program in Piatt County seeks to provide our clients with a sense of financial security on their journey to become more independent and self-sufficient, creating an avenue to free them from the abuse they have endured. These funds will assist us in supporting these clients to free themselves from abusive relationships, creating a healthier and safer community, and enhancing the quality of life for all Piatt County residents with funding for critical citizen resources.”

The funds associated with the Monticello Police Department were in support of the Monticello Shop with a Cop event. Shop with a Cop took 65 area children shopping on December 14, feeding them breakfast and giving out $100 gift cards to all participants, who used them to purchase holiday presents for themselves, friends, and family.

In the new year, Apex is increasing the quarterly funds associated with the Goose Creek Wind Community Grant Program from $5,000 to $10,000 each. Apex Public Engagement Manager Max Jabrixio said: “We’ve seen an overwhelmingly positive response since we started the grant program, and the number of applications we receive keeps growing. We’re excited to expand the program to help support all of the impactful work being done by great organizations like these in Piatt County.” In addition to the grant funding, Apex staff also volunteers time at many of the organizations involved in the program.

The Community Grant Program is one way Apex attempts to contribute to pressing community needs and make a meaningful impact at the local level. Apex Clean Energy awards these grants through its Community Grant Program on a quarterly basis. If you are interested in applying for future rounds of funding, please visit www.goosecreekwind.com/grant