AEP Foundation Provides $200,000 Grant to Illinois River Watershed Partnership

SHREVEPORT, La., April 20, 2020 – The American Electric Power Foundation has announced a $200,000 grant to the Illinois River Watershed Partnership (IRWP).

The grant will support the IRWP’s programming in Arkansas and Oklahoma, which includes its citizen science water quality assessment program, as well as mobile learning labs for local schools across the watershed.

The AEP Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units, including Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO), which serves approximately 119,000 customers in Arkansas.

Flint Creek Power Plant, co-owned by SWEPCO and the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. and operated by SWEPCO, is located on Little Flint Creek, a tributary of Flint Creek and the Illinois River. SWEPCO Lake, the 500-acre cooling reservoir for the power plant, is part of the watershed.

“We appreciate this generous grant, which will help us engage local youth in watershed education and research,” said Dr. Nicole Hardiman, IRWP executive director. “We want to build a conservation ethic in future generations, while also producing information for targeted outreach and best management practice implementation. The grant will enhance our ability to provide interactive, science-based field trips for local students, as well as work with student teams to collect useful ecological information about local creeks and streams.”

Jeff Milford, SWEPCO External Affairs Manager in Fayetteville, said, “Our Flint Creek Power Plant and SWEPCO Lake are an important part of this watershed. The mission of the Illinois River Watershed Partnership is a natural fit with SWEPCO’s commitment to environmental stewardship in all of our operations. We are pleased to present this two-year gift totaling $200,000 to support the outstanding work of the IRWP.”

SWEPCO’s long-standing community partnership with IRWP includes hosting a tree farm at Flint Creek Power Plant, where 1,000 containerized trees are grown each year for planting by IRWP volunteers along the banks of streams in the watershed.

The Illinois River Watershed Partnership works to improve the integrity of the Illinois River through public education and community outreach, water quality monitoring, and the implementation of conservation and restoration practices throughout the watershed. The organization seeks to make the Illinois River and its tributaries a fully functioning ecosystem, where ecological protection, conservation, and economically productive uses support diverse aquatic and riparian communities, meet all state and federal water quality standards, promote economic sustainability, and provide recreational opportunities. More information at http://www.irwp.org

The American Electric Power Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.

The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education from early childhood through higher education in the areas of science, technology, engineering, math and the environment and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger. Other Foundation support may be offered to protect the environment, support healthcare and safety, and enrich life through art, music and cultural heritage. 

The AEP Foundation is based in Columbus, Ohio.


Media Contact:
Peter Main
Corporate Communications