Community Services

Support for Community Services translates into direct benefits to the residents of Harbor Country®.  With 45% of its total funding dedicated to nine municipal entities totaling well over $10,000,000 since 2008, The Pokagon Fund has enabled these municipalities to improve their services and the quality of life of their constituents.  The building of the New Buffalo Township Library, the renovation of the New Buffalo Township Hall and the implementation of the City of New Buffalo’s Business Improvement District Downtown Development Initiative Project are the most obvious examples what grants from the Fund have achieved. But support for Police and Fire Departments, assisting in the dredging of New Buffalo Harbor and funding of recycling are less obvious but equally beneficial.  Listed below are the grants that have supported Community Services:

  • City of New Buffalo Downtown Development Initiative Project: In 2014 an award of $160,000 for Barton Street parking anticipated the much larger Downtown Development Initiative Project. In 2016, the Fund awarded $1,600,000 to the City  for this project


  • Dredging of the Harbor: From 2011 to 2014, the City of New Buffalo was awarded a total of $220,094 for the dredging of the harbor.


  • Fire Department, Police Department and Ambulance Support: Two of the first major awards by the Fund in this area came in 2008 and 2009 in the form of Public Safety Loans to New Buffalo Township totaling $794,907 to provide for police protection in the New Buffalo area. Thereafter, through 2016, there followed additional awards to the Chikaming, New Buffalo and Three Oaks Townships totaling $605,045 that provided the Fire and Police Departments and ambulance services in these townships with new vehicles, in-car camera systems, patrol car computers, fire training simulators, rescue equipment, water rescue equipment training.


  • Hike and Bike Paths: From 2009 to 2016, awards, totaling $1,239,755 to Chikaming Township. New Buffalo Township and Friends of Harbor Country Trails (FOHCT) supported the study and creation of bike and pedestrian paths on a number of local streets in Harbor Country, including Townline Road, Flynn Road, Wilson Road and Maudlin Road. With the support from these awards by the Fund, FOHCT prepared a detailed plan for a regional non-motorized trail system to connect local communities in Harbor Country®. These awards also supported the hiring and retention of a project manager and bike trail signage that has been placed throughout Harbor Country®. 


  • New Buffalo Township Hall Renovation: In 2015 an award of $2,000,000 funded the renovation of the New Buffalo Township Hall.


  • New Buffalo Township Library: In 2008, an award of $14,462 to the New Buffalo Township Library supported a plan to determine current and long-term library needs. Thereafter in 2012, the Fund awarded $900,000 to the New Buffalo Township Library for the construction of a new facility which was completed in 2014. Also in 2012, an award of $50,541 supported the purchase by the library of print and online resources for the community.  


  • New Buffalo Township Water Booster Station Upgrade: In 2014, an award of $500,000 provided for an upgrade to the township’s Water Booster Station.


  • Recycling: From 2009 to 2016, awards totaling $473,681 to Chikaming Township, New Buffalo Township and Three Oaks Township provided recycling containers and bins and support for township recycling programs.


  • River Valley School District: In 2012, an award of $340,000 supported improvements of the River Valley School District’s athletic complex, including the addition of a concession stand.


  • Village of Three Oaks: In 2011, an award of $107,000 was used to enhance the walkability of the Village through an improved sidewalk system. In 2015, an award provided $18,000 for Village Hall Furnishings.       


  • Village of Grand Beach: From 2008 to 2016, awards totaling $153,096 supported Village Clubhouse repairs and improvements, a generator for the Village Hall, the renovation of the Village Hall and kitchen and beautification of the entrance to Grand Beach.


  • Village of Michiana: In 2010, an award of $23,986 funded the purchase of an emergency generator for the Village Hall. In 2013, 2014 and 2016, awards totaling $186,849 funded Village Public Beach Access Stops and Stop 42 Beach Stairs.


  • Hartford Public Library: A total of $43,807 has been donated thus far to the library to upgrade technology and support youth summer reading programs.  


  • City of Hartford: Over $14,000 has been awarded to the City of Hartford to support concerts in the park, upgraded equipment for the Hartford Fire Department, and city park improvements.  


  • Hartford Public Schools: Since 2007, the Fund has awarded the local high school $13,000 to provide a safe, after-prom party for the students.  


  • Inter-Tribal Council Head Start: In 2008, an award of $74,825, was given to purchase a bus to support transportation of children from 33 different families in Dowagiac.


  • Patrick Hamilton Elementary School: In 2009, $39,595 was donated to refurbish one of Dowagiac’s elementary school playgrounds that was utilized no only by their students, but by children within the community as well.


  • Pokagon Township Hall: In 2013, a beautiful playground was constructed at for the community adjacent to the Pokagon Township Hall with a $20,418 grant from the Fund.   


  • Unity Gardens: Over $40,000 has been donated to South Bend to support a collaborative network of 55 community gardens that were originated to increase the availability, awareness and accessibility of locally grown food.  


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