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2020 Recipients of Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund Announced

Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund
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Nestlé Waters North America (NWNA), in collaboration with Fremont Area Community Foundation, is pleased to announce the 2020 recipients of grants awarded through the Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund (IMESF). The IMESF supports the long-term sustainability of the Muskegon River and its ecosystems by funding environmental conservation projects and programs throughout the watershed.

The recipients selected for this year’s grants include: the Central Michigan District Health Department, serving the counties of Arenac, Clare, Gladwin, Isabella, Osceola and Roscommon; Mecosta County Park Commission, population 43,000 and home to Ferris State University; Grant Public Schools, a K-12 school district with approximately 1,900 students; Mecosta Conservation District, providing site-specific, technical assistance and information to landowners/users in all aspects of resource management, and Muskegon River Watershed Assembly, which is dedicated to the preservation, protection, restoration and sustainable use of the Muskegon River.

Funds provided through the IMESF support projects located anywhere along the 2,700-square-mile watershed stretching across 12 counties from near Houghton Lake to the City of Muskegon. Projects funded by IMESF grants over the past 18 years have included erosion control, rain gardens, restoration to creeks, dams and nature areas, site clean-ups and improvements, among many others. In 2019, NWNA committed an additional $2 million investment into the IMESF to support conservation projects for the next 20+ years.

“We are honored to support Michigan organizations that share our collective goal to help preserve the Muskegon River Watershed and we look forward to seeing the successful projects led by the 2020 IMESF recipients,” said Arlene Anderson-Vincent, Natural Resource Manager in the Midwest for Nestlé Waters. “Since its inception in 2002, the Ice Mountain Environmental Stewardship Fund has awarded nearly $700,000 in grants to local organizations that are devoted to improving, enhancing, and protecting the Muskegon River. It’s just one of the many ways we continue to show our commitment to helping to conserve Michigan’s natural resources.”

The IMESF is managed by the Fremont Area Community Foundation, located in Newaygo County within the heart of the Muskegon River Watershed. The Community Foundation connects the needs of the community with generous donors who want to make a difference. The foundation’s strategic framework focuses on grantmaking intended to improve key areas that will have the greatest impact on the community.

"Fremont Area Community Foundation is proud to work with Nestlé Waters to steward this fund and partner with organizations doing important work to conserve and enhance the Muskegon River Watershed,” said Carla Roberts, Fremont Area Community Foundation President and CEO. “Like the watershed itself, an endowed fund is a resource that, if preserved and stewarded carefully, will continue to benefit our region for generations to come. We are grateful for the generosity of Nestlé Waters and for the dedication, passion, and innovation of our community partners."

The 2020 IMESF grant recipients’ projects include:

Central Michigan District Health Department

Project Name: Scanning to Preserve Septic and Well Permits

The grant will fund the scanning and preservation of sewage system and water well permits in Clare, Osceola, and Roscommon counties. Residents, businesses, and industries rely on wells for clean drinking water and other daily needs. They also rely on sewage treatment systems that equally treat and discharge domestic wastewater in a manner that does not expose people to harmful organisms or degrade the environment.

Mecosta County Park Commission

Project Name: Professional Engineering Services for Slope Stabilization, Erosion Repair and Access Enhancement at Davis Bridge Day Use Park

This project will evaluate current bank stability and recommend improvements related to erosion and slope stability. This includes designing safe and sustainable access points for use of the Muskegon River as well as drafting bid documents, including a plan set and specifications ready for construction. Davis Bridge County Park is an important access point along the Muskegon River as it provides year-round opportunities for picnicking, fishing, hiking, and boating access for residents of Mecosta and Newaygo counties as well as many regional visitors.

Grant Public Schools

Project Name: Environmental Stewardship-Sandy Beach Buffer Zone Project

The purpose of this project is to educate students about environmental careers while empowering them to be community ambassadors. The students will play a key role in increasing the number of native Michigan plants at Sandy Beach, creating a natural habitat for pollinators while decreasing the amount of stormwater runoff flowing into the lake. They will help select the plants, design the buffer zone and guide the project from start to finish.

Mecosta Conservation District

Project name: 2020 Household Hazardous Waste Collection

This project will provide residents of Mecosta, Osceola and Lake Counties with a safe method to dispose of toxic and hazardous products in order to protect our environment. The objective is to prevent water/ground pollution through a more specialized approach to discarding harmful, hard- to-get-rid-of products. The collection is held on the second Saturday of October. Currently, there are no other collection programs in Mecosta and Osceola Counties or the east half of Lake County that allow residents to dispose of their hazardous waste. The need for hazardous waste collection is high for this area since landfills, waste haulers and recycling centers do not allow these types of toxic materials as a part of their collection and processing procedures.

Muskegon River Watershed Assembly

Project Name: Empowering Landowners to Action: Using Restoration Showcase Sites to control erosion pollution in the Muskegon River Watershed.

With the variable water levels in the Muskegon River Watershed causing increased erosion along shorelines, riparian landowners have reached out to MRWA for solutions. This project will stabilize over 500 feet of eroding streambank and establish Restoration Showcase sites to provide the public with tangible examples and educational material on techniques to appropriately stabilize banks in an aesthetically pleasing and ecologically appropriate manner. The work will focus on developing educational tools that would be distributed throughout the Muskegon River Watershed and help educate landowners (private and municipal) about the steps needed to accomplish an appropriate streambank stabilization project.

The 2021 IMESF grant application period is June 1 – July 15, 2021. For more information and to apply for consideration for a 2021 IMESF grant, please visit: https://facommunityfoundation.org/grants/types-of-grants/ice-mountain/

About Nestlé Waters North America

Nestlé Waters North America offers an unrivaled portfolio of bottled water brands for healthy hydration, including Ice Mountain® Brand 100% Natural Spring Water, Nestlé® Pure Life® , Perrier®, S. Pellegrino® and Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water. The company also owns and operates ReadyRefresh®, a customizable water and beverage delivery service.

Based in Stamford, Connecticut, with approximately 7,000 associates in the United States, we manage natural resources for long-term sustainability, and we conserve nearly 18,000 acres of natural watershed area. We currently source water for our six regional spring water brands from 38 active springs throughout the United States. We are also committed to creating shared value and being a good neighbor in the more than 120 communities where we operate in the U.S. For more information, visit us at http://www.Nestle-Watersna.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook: @NestleWatersNA.

About Fremont Area Community Foundation

Fremont Area Community Foundation exists to improve the quality of life for Newaygo County residents by connecting community needs with the passions of families, businesses, and individuals. Through strategic and responsive grant making, we support programs and organizations that create long-term solutions to the most pressing needs in our community. For more information about Fremont Area Community Foundation, call 231.924.5350 or visit facommunityfoundation.org.