NiSource Inc., in collaboration with its local utility NIPSCO, presented a check for $56,040 to The Nature Conservancy in Indiana, to be used for restoration work at the local Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve.
The partnership between NiSource and the Conservancy is part of NiSource’s Direct e-Bill campaign that encourages its residential and commercial customers to sign up for free paperless billing. During the three-month campaign, each customer who signed up triggered a donation to support local freshwater conservation projects in their state. In total, 18,883 customers across five states signed up during the campaign. In Indiana, 4052 NIPSCO customers signed up.
"We're continuing our commitment to environmental stewardship across the company," said NiSource Inc. President and CEO Robert C. Skaggs Jr. "This partnership is a great opportunity for our utility customers to support local conservation programs and save trees."
Last Thursday Mike Finissi, COO of NIPSCO, presented Mary McConnell (state director for The Nature Conservancy in Indiana) a check for $56,040. The ceremony was held at Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve. The funds will help the Conservancy control a host of non-native, invasive plants that threaten the diverse array of native plants at the preserve– work that is being accomplished through a partnership with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Just minutes away from steel mills and oil refineries in northwest Indiana, Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve in Lake County is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. They thrive in its rolling topography and sandy soils. As one of the last remaining grasslands in the Midwest, Hoosier Prairie supports some of the greatest plant and animal diversity in the state. The landscape alternates between higher dry spots and lower wet spots, and boasts more than 350 native species of plants, at least 43 of which are uncommon or rarely seen in Indiana.
In addition to the customer-driven campaign, the NiSource Charitable Foundation contributed $100,000 to The Nature Conservancy to support its ongoing freshwater conservation efforts in five states (including Indiana), for a total contribution of $200,000.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.