The Wildcat Glades Friends Group has received a $13,924 grant from the American Water Charitable Foundation, a nonprofit organization created by American Water, the parent company of Missouri American Water.

The grant will help the friends group build a community educational cottage in Wildcat Park, to be focused on environmental education. It was awarded through American Water Charitable Foundation's 2019 Keep Communities Flowing program. Eleven projects in seven states will be supported by grants totaling $150,000.

“Funding provided through the Keep Communities Flowing Grant Program supports the completion of high impact community-focused projects that directly improve the quality of life for our customers and surrounding ecosystems,” said Carrie Williams, president of the American Water Charitable Foundation, in a statement. “We are proud to offer these types of funding opportunities to further American Water’s ongoing commitment to being a good neighbor and stewards of the environment.”

Grantees for the program required a local American Water sponsor and were selected based on criteria including clarity of project goals and projected impact, innovation and strength of project, and evidence of community and volunteer engagement, according to the foundation.

"With Missouri American Water in particular, we've always supported Wildcat, and the main reason is their focus on our watershed and the Shoal Creek area," said Christie Barnhart, external affairs manager for Missouri American Water. "It's so tied to what we do as a business and industry here in town."

In addition to projects in California, Illinois, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Georgia, another Missouri-based project also received a grant. The Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region received $7,000 to plant 660 willow trees along the riverbank in Lower Meramec Park.

Emily Younker is the assistant metro editor at the Joplin Globe. Contact: eyounker AT joplinglobe DOT com.