| The Hutchinson News
Grant to help complete Meadowlark Trail
The Central Kansas Conservancy announced it has received a grant through the Gannett Foundation’s “A Community Thrives Challenge” to help complete the Meadowlark Trail between McPherson and Lindsborg.
To receive the grant, the organization had to demonstrate community support through donations through a four-week fundraiser campaign that started in September and ended in the second week of October.
Being a competitive grant, the organization had to compete in a tier of 350 other organizations. The CKC’s goal was $7,000; however, they surpassed that goal by $9,300, bringing the total amount raised to $16,300.
Since the CKC demonstrated a considerable amount of community support, the Gannett Foundation awarded the CKC a grant of $7,500.
The grant money, along with the donations of trail’s supporters, will be put toward the completion of the remaining four-mile stretch between the two existing sections of Meadowlark Trail, establishing a continuous corridor between the two communities.
Gannett Corporation owns both the McPherson Sentinel and The Hutchinson News.
To get involved or learn more about CKC and its trails, visit www.centralkansastrails.org.
Community Foundation announces grant cycle
Hutchinson Community Foundation has opened its requests for proposals for 2021 Changemakers at Work Grants.
Formerly known as Make it Greater Grants, Changemakers at Work Grants are open to Reno County residents and organizations who have great ideas for bringing community members together on projects that spark community spirit and pride, increase social capital, and build on communities’ assets and unique qualities through placemaking.
Awards range from $250 to $2,500.
Proposals must come from 501(c)(3) organizations that serve Reno County. Individuals or groups that do not have a 501(c)(3) designation must obtain a nonprofit fiscal sponsor.
To learn more about grant requirements and to download application materials, visit bit.ly/2LKit5f. To read about the kinds of projects previously funded through Changemakers at Work Grants, visit bit.ly/3qkO8JE.
The application deadline is noon Feb. 16. Grants will be awarded in March.
StartUp Hutch loan helps reopen business at Former Prairie Hills Nursery
When Prairie Hills Nursery closed in the spring of 2020, the Hutchinson community felt all those losses. That’s when entrepreneurs Travis and Kristen Mullen saw a window of opportunity to expand their existing lawn care business, Mullen’s Landscaping and Irrigation.
The Mullens began the process of purchasing Prairie Hills Nursery and reached out for support and guidance through StartUp Hutch.
They were able to utilize a SCORE business mentor to help guide them through the acquisition. The Mullens also were able to secure gap financing using StartUp Hutch’s E-Community Funds, and access resources available to entrepreneurs at the state level through Network Kansas. First National Bank of Hutchinson was also a key partner in making the purchase possible.
“This is a great example of a local bank, StartUp Hutch, and Network Kansas all working together to help an entrepreneur expand their business by acquiring a related business. Our whole community benefits because this will generate sales tax and property tax revenue in addition to maintaining an active business at a highly-trafficked corner in our community,” said Jackson Swearer, Entrepreneur Navigator and Program Director at StartUp Hutch.
The hard work and investment made by the Mullens, along with the help of these partners, yields the collective result of allowing a successful and important business in Reno County to prosper when it otherwise would have remained closed.
“We’re excited for the opportunity to expand our business, and we appreciate the help StartUp Hutch provided to make this possible,” said Travis Mullen.
For more information on StartUp Hutch resources, or to join their community of entrepreneurs and business owners, visit www.startuphutch.com or contact Jackson Swearer at 620-665-3319.