White River Military Coordination Alliance marks significant milestone in conservation and communications efforts, receives national attention for Conservation Incentive Toolkit

[email protected] Technology Park, (Odon) Indiana — The White River Military Coordination Alliance has reached a significant milestone in its conservation and communications efforts, recently receiving national military attention for its Conservation Incentive Toolkit.

In 2019, the Alliance received an Office of Economic Adjustment (Department of Defense) and Indiana Office of Defense Development Grant to fund two consultants to complete recommendations identified in a Joint Land Use Study that would encourage compatible land use around NSA Crane and Lake Glendora Test Facility and improve communication between NSA Crane and communities near the installation. The grants are now complete, and 68% of the JLUS recommendations have been addressed.

Compatible land use

Tierra Plan, a Colorado-based software company that specializes in building geographical information systems and databases, was selected to address issues identified in the 2017 JLUS, which related to compatible land use in the 3-mile buffer zone surrounding Crane and Lake Glendora. Tierra Plan’s tasks included designing a new Alliance web portal and developing the online Conservation Incentive Toolkit, which were released in November 2019.

These applications allow residents and conservation partners to identify opportunities for land conservation in the communities that neighbor Crane and Lake Glendora, and to connect directly with Crane and Alliance partners with questions and concerns. Community members can also use the toolkit to report issues such as noise complaints or land use issues to Crane.

Improved communication

Crafted Communications, a Bloomington-based public relations and strategic communications firm, was chosen to enhance and formalize communication between NSA Crane and the community. Crafted Communications’ projects included creating a public information website, establishing an Alliance social media presence to deliver important news, developing fact sheets for the Alliance about Crane, and populating an Alliance event calendar to the website to publicize upcoming community events.

The firm also worked with the Alliance to create a Memorandum of Understanding between Crane and its neighboring cities and counties to establish open lines of communication.

National attention on the Conservation Incentive Toolkit

The Alliance’s Conservation Incentive Toolkit gained national attention when it was presented on June 17 during the Department of Defense’s Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program (REPI) Webinar Series. Representatives from NSA Crane spoke about the toolkit, which is designed to identify opportunities for land conservation in the communities that neighbor Crane and Lake Glendora, during a session on using GIS to identify new partnership opportunities.

Second-quarter meeting

Additionally, during the Alliance’s recent second-quarter meeting:

      Senator Mark Messmer addressed the Alliance about the importance of defense in Indiana and answered questions from members.

      The Indiana Department of Transportation was approved as an Alliance advisor. INDOT contributed to the 2017 JLUS and will benefit the Alliance by informing members of local transportation planning initiatives. INDOT has appointed Capital Program Management Project Manager Alan “Kent” Davis to serve as its representative. 

      The Alliance reaffirmed its plans to pursue a new grant from the Department of Defense to address issues common between NSA Crane and Grissom ARB. 

The next quarterly Alliance meeting will be held in August 2020.

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About the White River Military Coordination Alliance

The Alliance is a community organization that was formed in 2018 to promote positive development and growth in the communities that surround Naval Support Activity Crane and Lake Glendora Test Facility (Daviess, Greene, Lawrence, Martin and Sullivan counties) by facilitating two-way communication between the communities, counties, state agencies, and NSA Crane. The focus of our 24-member alliance is to create opportunities for economic prosperity and land conservation in the region, safeguard Crane’s military mission, and protect community health and safety. We would encourage the community to take our survey about Crane at WRMCAlliance.com. Follow the Alliance on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.