In the late 1980s, the Indiana General Assembly began receiving new requests for assistance with conservation and recreational development along the Wabash River and its historic transportation corridor. A Wabash River Heritage Corridor Fund (WRHCF) bill was passed to do just that. As this surge of enthusiasm and interest began to grow, monies were appropriated by the General Assembly to assist in the renaissance of the Wabash River.
From 1990 to 2000, almost $8 million has been allocated to the river corridor. With the DNR administrating these funds, along with the creation of the Wabash River Heritage Corridor Commission (WRHCC) to promote the corridor, the opportunity for natural/recreational as well as historical/cultural projects along the Wabash River corridor has materialized. Nineteen counties in the corridor along the Wabash River, Little River, and the historic portage to the Maumee River are eligible to utilize the WRHCF. These counties are Adams, Allen, Carroll, Cass, Fountain, Gibson, Huntington, Jay, Knox, Miami, Park, Posey, Sullivan, Tippecanoe, Vermillion, Vigo, Wabash, Warren, and Wells. The last year of funding from the General Assembly was 2000.
In 2009, legislation was revised to allow a new source of dedicated money to be placed in the fund. This fund will be used to once again fund projects in the Wabash River Corridor.
Where are the funds from?
The owners of land in Indiana are due royalties from oil and other minerals collected beneath their property. Because no person or agency owns the Wabash River, the royalties collected have gone into the state general fund. In 2009, IC 14-13-6 was revised to put this money in a non-reverting fund for grants in the Wabash River corridor. The revenue is approximately $100,000 per year.
How do I apply for the funds?
Applications for the 2018 WRHCF grant round are due by Oct. 1, 2018. Prospective applicants are encouraged to meet with the grants staff prior to submitting an application.