Heart of Cook Announces New Earth Day Grant Program

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day in 2020, Cook Nuclear Plant’s Heart of Cook Foundation launched a new grant program targeting projects that benefit the environment or raise environmental awareness. Once again, The Heart of Cook is offering another 2021 Earth Day Environmental Grant for up to $5,000 to support organizations planning to execute an environmental project.

The Boys and Girls Club of Benton Harbor was recipient of the Heart of Cook’s first-ever Earth Day Environmental Grant for $5,000 last year. Their project brought three organizations together to help give kids an ongoing, hands-on learning experience with nature. For those interested in applying this year, the ideal project will benefit the environment or raise environmental awareness.

Special consideration will be given to projects that have STEM involvement, can demonstrate a lasting sustainability component, or support ground water sustainability or protecting our water sources. The Heart of Cook Earth Day Grant is a grant program funded by Indiana Michigan Power’s Cook Nuclear Plant and administered by the Berrien Community Foundation to assist agencies doing environmental projects in the community. 

“Ever since construction began here in Michigan’s Great Southwest, Cook Plant has been committed to being good stewards of our environment,” said Joel Gebbie, AEP’s senior vice president and chief nuclear officer. “The Heart of Cook Earth Day Grant is another way to make sure our tomorrows are a bit cleaner, healthier and greener.”

Cook Plant Environmental Specialist Blair Zordell is the Heart of Cook’s Earth Day Environmental Grant Committee Chair. “Although the Heart of Cook Environmental Grant Committee includes employees from our Environmental Department, everyone who works here at Cook has a stake in the efforts to preserve our environment,” he said.  “We’re really looking forward to reading about all the great ideas and projects local groups have that will strengthen that effort.”

All 501c3 nonprofits, schools, units of government or religious organizations doing community work within the Indiana Michigan Power service territory are invited to apply, with preference given to Berrien County projects. Applications will be reviewed by Cook Plant employees and a winner will be announced on Earth Day in April 2021.

Grant applications and guidelines are now available on the Berrien Community Foundation's website at www.berriencommunity.org/HOCEarthDay. All grant applications must be submitted electronically through the Berrien Community Foundation’s website. The grant application due date is March 10, 2021, and the winner will be announced on Earth Day 2021. If you have questions about applying, contact Susan Matheny at susanmatheny@berriencommunity.org.