Foundations Bring Grantees Together to Share Lessons Learned, Visit Prairie Creek

Prairie Creek Reservoir. Photo by: Mike RhodesPrairie Creek Reservoir. Photo by: Mike Rhodes

MUNCIE—Two Muncie-based family foundations are hosting a summit this week that will bring together grantees focused on the environment, outdoor education, and outdoor recreation. Ball Brothers Foundation is the lead host of the summit which will introduce Muncie area grantees to like-minded organizations from the Leelenau area of northern Michigan which are supported by the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation. The two day event will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at the new Courtyard hotel in downtown Muncie.

The primary objective of the summit is to provide organizations a space to network, share best practices, and spark new ideas. The summit will specifically focus on the concept of “partnerships” and the work that goes into developing strong, mutually-beneficial partnerships and collaborations. Each organization will have the opportunity to make a brief presentation and share important lessons they have learned that may be replicable or beneficial for others.

The group of 31 participants will then visit Prairie Creek to see “partnership in action.” Over the course of the past two decades, community partnerships and volunteer efforts have led to: the connection of the Cardinal Greenway to Red-tail Nature Preserve’s wildlife area; a multi-use trail along the southeast side of the reservoir; the creation of mountain bike trails; and a new bathhouse and other features along the beach area.

The Summit is one of several ways Ball Brothers Foundation is marking its 90th anniversary in 2016. “As we reflect on the past 90 years of grantmaking, one theme that stands out is power of partnerships. The projects that BBF funds are often those that demonstrate strong community buy-in and partnerships with other entities. No one organization can do everything on its own and while partnership can be challenging, when each organization brings its strengths to the table, incredible results follow. This summit gives us the chance to bring like-minded organizations together to get to the heart of what partnership means,” says Jud Fisher, BBF President and Chief Operating Officer.

“While BBF and the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation have different staff, boards, and giving priorities, we felt it would be beneficial to bring select grantees from both foundations together to share, reflect, and learn from one another,” Fisher continued. “Convening and connecting are key roles that foundations can play in communities.”

Muncie area groups and local government partners participating in the summit include: Camp Adventure (Muncie Community Schools), Camp Crosley (Muncie YMCA), Cardinal Greenways, City of Muncie, Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District, Mid-INdiana Trails, and Red-tail Land Conservancy. Michigan-based groups include Fishtown Preservation, Inland Seas Education Association, Leelanau Conservancy, Leelanau Outdoor Center, and T.A.R.T. Trails. Other foundation representatives will also be in attendance including: the Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County, the George and Frances Ball Foundation, and the Paul Ogle Foundation. Phil Tevis and Colby Gray of Muncie-based FlatLand Resources, a planning and design-build civil engineering firm, will help to facilitate sessions.


With assets of over $150 million, Ball Brothers Foundation annually makes grants in support of arts and culture, education, the environment, health, human services and public affairs. The Muncie-based family foundation gives priority to projects and programs that improve the quality of life in BBF’s home city, county and state. In 2016, BBF is celebrating its 90th year of grantmaking.