Providence Mill dam

River Heritage Conservancy Inc. has been awarded $75,000 from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Lake and River Enhancement Program to facilitate removal of the abandoned Providence Mill dam, which will open 4.5 miles of Silver Creek for fish passage.

River Heritage Conservancy Inc. announced Tuesday that it has been awarded $75,000 from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Lake and River Enhancement Program to facilitate removal of the abandoned Providence Mill dam, which will open 4.5 miles of Silver Creek for fish passage.

This project is part of more than $1.1 million in grants awarded to 23 Indiana counties for the improvement of seven lakes and 15 rivers and streams over the next two years.

River Heritage Conservancy Inc. is the local non-profit responsible for the recently unveiled ORIGIN Park plan in Southern Indiana.

“Low head dams are, sadly, the site of fatalities across the nation each year. Removal of this abandoned dam will enhance outdoor recreation and safety, while also improving spawning habitat for sport fish species in Silver Creek and the Ohio River. It’s a solid win-win for the region’s outdoor recreation community and wildlife that utilize this important urban ecological corridor,” said Scott Martin, River Heritage Conservancy executive director.

The grants were competitively awarded through the Indiana Department of Natural Resource Division of Fish and Wildlife with funds coming from annual boat owner registration fees collected by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles throughout the state. The local match for the state grant was provided by a generous contribution from the Sam Shine Foundation whose support of this work is driven by the commitment to improving biodiversity and ecological resilience in Southern Indiana. The dam removal team will be led by the Ecosystems Connections Institute from Denver, Indiana.

“Thanks to support from Indiana DNR and the Sam Shine Foundation, we can take the first step in making Silver Creek more accessible for outdoor recreation and simultaneously improve the ecological vitality of an urban waterway. This collaboration makes possible immediate improvements in the connection between our communities and Indiana’s great outdoors,” said Kent Lanum, chair of River Heritage Conservancy Inc.

ORIGIN Park is a 600-acre park plan developed by River Heritage Conservancy on the North Shore of the Ohio River in Southern Indiana. Once created, ORIGIN Park will provide an iconic public park for the Louisville and Southern Indiana region. For more information on the park, go to www.originpark.org.

For more information, or to arrange a site visit to the dam, contact RHC communication coordinator, Vern Eswine at veswine@marketingcompany.com

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