Springtime means Volunteer Grant checks!
We tallied employees’ and retirees’ 2020 volunteer hours and sent checks to the nonprofits of their choice. Employees and retirees qualify for Volunteer Grants when they log 50 or more volunteer hours in a year.
In 2020, employees and retirees logged nearly 64,000 hours.
Employees who earned a grant have a special icon in their email signature. Keep an eye out and congratulate them for their service!
Project ReConnect funds help restore tree canopy post-derecho
We continue to help communities recover from the 2020 Iowa derecho. We recently allocated $150,000 from our Project ReConnect fund to Trees Forever. This is the third and final phase of the program. We will hold a lunch and learn session this summer to update employees on how the funds were spent and hear from the nonprofit partners involved.
- $50,000 will go toward the ReLeaf Cedar Rapids plan through the City of Cedar Rapids.
- $50,000 will fund tree adoption events in Linn County and surrounding counties.
- $50,000 will fund Trees Forever’s Growing Futures job employment program which takes a unique approach to caring for our community’s trees. Teams of at-risk youth are employed to help grow the tree canopy in Cedar Rapids while learning about the world around them and the potential within themselves.
Alliant Energy was recognized as the premier sponsor of the April 18 tree adoption event in Marion, Iowa, where over 500 trees were distributed to customers.
As we continue to work on our overall tree program plan, we anticipate the need to provide additional funding to ReLeaf Cedar Rapids. Trees Forever is working to match the City of Cedar Rapids’ commitment of $10 million over the next 10 years. The focus of the plan is to re-canopy neighborhoods and 38 city parks that were impacted the greatest.
Alliant Energy’s longtime Branching Out program (31 years strong!) will also support planting efforts across Iowa this year.
- Grants support 47 tree-planting projects in 37 communities.
- Communities received up to $10,000 each to fund new trees – plus the support of a Trees Forever field coordinator, to select tree species and create a care plan.
- Altogether, communities will receive $215,000 in Branching Out grants to purchase and plant new trees.
Hope on wheels in Fond du Lac
There’s a new vehicle on the road in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. We helped purchase a brand-new truck for the Salvation Army to pick up and deliver donations. And, they let us help design the graphics!
The design emphasizes words like help, love, compassion and hope, and includes both the Salvation Army and Alliant Energy logo. The words appear in English, Spanish and Hmong to represent the three most common languages spoken in Wisconsin.
What’s the truck up to? The Salvation Army uses the truck six days a week. On any given day, it could be used to:
- Deliver furniture to a family who was previously homeless.
- Pick up food donations from a local grocery store to distribute at the Salvation Army food pantry.
- Transport clothing donations.
The Alliant Energy Foundation worked closely with Salvation Army’s Connie Millard to plan the gift.
“I hope when people see this truck on the road, it makes them smile,” Connie said. We couldn’t agree more!
In 2019, the Alliant Energy Foundation committed $1 million to the City of Cedar Rapids for an overarching project known as ConnectCR. ConnectCR fuses two community-centered projects to offer stunning aesthetics, create outdoor and water recreation opportunities, connect community landmarks, businesses, neighborhoods and amenities and spark economic development in the Cedar Rapids area.
As new naming opportunities became available, we have now turned our focus from the lake to the pedestrian/trail bridge. We are working with our Marketing department to develop a list of potential names. We’ll share these with you for final approval this summer.
Alliant Energy has an interesting historical connection to the bridge. This story will be told on panels throughout the plaza areas on the bridge approaches.
- Alliant Energy has roots at the exact location of the pedestrian/trail bridge. William G. Dows started Iowa Electric Light and Power Company, now Alliant Energy. In 1865, William’s father, Stephen L. Dows, built a railroad bridge for his Burlington Cedar Rapids and Northern Railway Company (BCR&N). Stephen L. Dows also built the bridge in central Iowa that became the High Trestle Trail Bridge, an international attraction in central Iowa.
- Ownership of the bridge went from BCR&N to Rock Island and then to CRANDIC, owned by Alliant Energy.
- Recently, CRANDIC deeded the bridge to the City for the ConnectCR Project.
Moving forward together with Africasong
We recently made a $15,000 gift to Africasong Communications to support their Forward Together Forum and 2022 MLK Day event at the Wisconsin State Capitol.
Forward Together Forum
The Forward Together Forum series fosters understanding of diverse groups with presentations that inspire both action and positive change. Guest speakers share essential issues that shape and drive Wisconsin's varied communities. See upcoming forum topics.
Africasong produces three episodes of the Forward Together Forum each month. Our gift will make us the presenting sponsor for six episodes this year.
Episodes air on select Tuesdays at 1 p.m. and are recorded live. They are then available to watch on demand through their website.
Each year, Alliant Energy provides dozens of scholarships for college-bound students. Our scholarships support people pursuing careers that align with the energy industry.
- 25 high school seniors receive $1,000 Alliant Energy Innovation scholarships. These awards go to students with innovative STEM ideas to make their communities better and safer places to live.
- Alliant Energy scholarships are available at many technical colleges and universities in our service. These scholarships support students pursuing careers in the energy industry. Applications and selection are managed by each independent school.
- The Alliant Energy Erroll B. Davis Academic Achievement Award is an endowed scholarship, managed by Iowa and Wisconsin schools. Scholarships from the fund are awarded to undergraduate students from underrepresented minority groups based upon academic success and community service.