Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann announced today the Indiana Office of Tourism Development (IOTD) and Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) awarded 11 communities funding for quality of place initiatives through the Place Based Investment Fund (PBIF).
Corydon, Evansville, Fountain City, Greenfield, Lafayette, North Manchester, Orleans, Peru, Rushville, Washington and Winona Lake will each receive grant funds ranging from $25,000 to $50,000 to fund parks, public venues and other quality of place projects.
“I commend the initiative taken by the leadership in these 11 communities in determining the best opportunities for local placemaking projects,” noted Ellspermann. “The Place Based Investment Fund rewards creativity, ingenuity and collaboration and the end results will benefit local communities and citizens for years to come.”
The PBIF program, now in its third year, is a $500,000 competitive matching grant program administered as a partnership between OCRA and IOTD. The grant program supports community and economic development projects across the state. Initiatives that promote quality of life, improve tourism experiences and develop multi-purpose gathering places are specifically targeted for the grant.
Performance-based quality of place initiatives that maximize investment and collaboration by local governments, economic development organizations, convention and visitor bureaus, Indiana Main Street organizations, public or private schools and community foundations are the intended recipients of these grants. The aim of the program is to provide funding opportunities for unique projects and programs that seek to create jobs and further establish a diverse local, regional and state economy. For more information on PBIF, visit http://in.gov/ocra/PBIF.htm.
Below is a summary of this year’s 11 PBIF recipients:
- City of Corydon: Fred Cammack Corydon Farmers Market
The City of Corydon will transform a vacant blighted building into a year-round farmers market. After the completion of all updates, local artists will paint murals and signage on the outsides of the building. This project is a partnership between the Harrison County Community Foundation, Harrison County Government, Michelle Timperman Ritz Architects, Purdue Extension Harrison County and Main Street Corydon.
- City of Evansville: Wesselman Nature Playscape
The Wesselman Nature Society has partnered with the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Community Foundation Alliance (Vanderburgh Community Foundation) and Wellborn Baptist Foundation to create a multi acre nature playscape. This area will allow for unstructured, safe playtime within a natural setting and includes a stream with three nodes all set in the natural environment within the Nature Preserve.
- Town of Fountain City: The Levi Coffin House Orientation Theatre
The Levi Coffin House Orientation Theatre will build upon the existing tourist destination called the “Grand Central of the Underground Railroad.” This project will include a theatre and necessary equipment to host events at the house. The project will maintain the historical integrity of the house and offer a larger education experience. This project is collaboration between the Town of Fountain City, Fountain City Lions Club, Indiana State Museum and Historical Sites, Levi Coffin House Association, Quigg Family Foundation, Wayne County Foundation, Inc., Wayne County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Northeastern Wayne Schools.
- City of Greenfield: North Street Living Alley
This project will include the construction of an alleyway with improved safety measures, an artistic living wall, planting beds, and the addition of naturescape to the underutilized alley. This project will connect to the Riley Art and Literary Trail and North Street District. This is collaboration between the City of Greenfield, Hancock County Tourism Commission, Hancock County Visitors Bureau, Rick Roberts, PLA, Regreening Greenfield, Tom Strickland, Greenfield in Bloom, Greenfield Main Street, Inc., Hancock County Economic Development Council, and Hancock County Arts and Cultural Council.
- City of Lafayette: Lafayette Arts Center Stage
The Lafayette Arts Center Stage is a series of themed public art installations combined as one project, located on Main Street in Lafayette’s arts and culture districts. A total of five art installations will include a sculpture, a Seurat inspired mural, an annual renewing performance mural painted during a weekend event for the public to witness, two art pads to be filled by artists and a custom designed crosswalk. Project partners include the City of Lafayette Economic Development Department, Tippecanoe County Bicentennial Commission, Lafayette Redevelopment Commission, Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette, Tippecanoe Arts Federation, Inc., Greater Lafayette Commerce, Lafayette Urban Enterprise Association, Friends of Downtown, Bank Tower, LLC, and Lafayette Symphony, Inc.
- Town of North Manchester: Eel River Canoe and Education Center
This project will revitalize a blighted downtown area into a public park, recreation and educational gathering space. The site will be cleared and renovated into green space, accessible to all with public access, a canoe launch, pavilion, and a gravel parking lot. The site will be utilized for an ecology educational opportunity for the local university and schools. Partners of this project include the Town of North Manchester, Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Visit Wabash County, Manchester Main Street, Paul L. Speicher Foundation, and the Community Foundation of Wabash County.
- Town of Orleans: Congress Square Stage Project
The Congress Square Stage Project has built upon the long and vibrant history of live performances by constructing a permanent performance stage in the well-visited Congress Square Park. Partners of this project include the Town of Orleans, Orleans Community School Corporation, Orleans Chamber of Commerce, Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Orange County Community Foundation, Inc.
- City of Peru: Maconaquah Park Amphitheater
The City of Peru, Miami County Tourism, First Farmer’s Bank and Trust, Northern Indiana Community Foundation, Miami County Economic Development Authority, North Central Indiana Regional Planning Council, and the First Bank of Berne have partnered together to create an outdoor amphitheater in Maconaquah Park. The bowl shaped facility will build upon the existing landscape to provide seating for patrons while they enjoy an array of performances on the new stage.
- City of Rushville: Riverside Park Pavilion Structure
The city of Rushville will be constructing a complementary shade structure to Riverside Park Amphitheater. The new structure will service a wide range of areas based on utilization from previous years. Partners of this project include the City of Rushville, Heart of Rushville, Rush County Community Foundation, and the Riverside Park Organizing Committee.
- Town of Washington: Bicentennial Park
The City of Washington along with Daviess County Economic Development Corporation will create Bicentennial Park in the downtown area. The project will create an open air plaza and a brick event storage facility. A covered walkway will be created by altering a building façade and additional lighting and landscaping will be added through the project. Furniture will be placed throughout for patrons to utilize while visiting the space. Creation of this project will allow for additional events in the downtown area.
- Town of Winona Lake: Winona Lake Limitless Park
This community project will allow all community members an opportunity to enjoy a universally accessible public recreation destination. This is the only inclusive recreation area within a 50 mile area and will build upon a very large area complete with splash pad, playground, natural play area, trailhead, landscaping, concrete paths, signage, and infrastructure modifications necessary to accommodate all park goers. Partners of this project include the Town of Winona Lake, Kosciusko County Convention, Recreation and Visitor Commission, Kosciusko Community Foundation, and the Orthopedic Capital Foundation/Orthoworx.
Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann oversees the Indiana Office of Tourism Development Mark Newman serves as IOTD’s executive director. IOTD is dedicated to enhancing the economic vitality of Indiana through leadership and resource support to the Indiana travel industry for awareness-building, product development and job creation. Further information can be found at www.VisitIndiana.com.
The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs works with local, state and national partners to provide resources and technical assistance to aid communities in shaping their vision for economic development. For additional information on OCRA and its programs visit www.ocra.in.gov.