Community Resilience

Creating stronger, more resilient communities

Our environment is changing. We bring together researchers from the Environmental Resilience Institute, the Indiana Geological and Water Survey, the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, and dozens of departments across the IU Bloomington campus with rural communities across Indiana to create stronger, more resilient communities.

As you seek new approaches to flood control, water sources and treatment, food security, and parks and public land management, we can connect you to research and resources that inform future steps.

You can collaborate with us to support:

  • Local and regional food systems
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Disaster preparedness and response
  • Cultural preservation

Project spotlights

Residents in the Indiana Uplands region are taking steps to improve their health with a new food-as-medicine initiative in Greene and Daviess counties that is providing local food and resources as part of the statewide Indiana Healthy Opportunities for People Everywhere (I-HOPE) effort.

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There are more than 600 groundwater springs in the Indiana Uplands region, but for most of them, little is actually known about the status of their water quality and quantity. The springs are a valuable resource to the region with little surface water, but no large-scale characterization of the springs has ever taken place, and for some, no data has been collected in over 100 years. In 2019, we joined Indiana Geological Water Survey (IGWS) to send a team of geologists to locate 100 of the most important perennial groundwater springs throughout the Uplands and collect samples of the water for testing.

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Through a partnership launched in 2019, the Indiana Geological and Water Survey (IGWS) created detailed and updated topographic maps of the recreational areas in southwest central Indiana to significantly enhance the Center for Rural Engagement’s goal of increasing recreational use of public lands within the Indiana Uplands region.

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The Center for Rural Engagement along with the Indiana Geological and Water Survey and the Polis Center at IUPUI will collaborate to study the feasibility of using subsurface Indiana rock formations for carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Carbon capture is a multi-step process to contain carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from industrial processes, including the burning of fossil fuels. At CO2 storage or sequestration hubs, CO2 is injected into deep geologic formations where emissions from carbon-intensive industries can be permanently stored under tight and impermeable rock horizons.

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Parks, Recreation, and Public Lands

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Explore recreational and public land resources across the Indiana Uplands region and discover key opportunities to enhance these resources to create a healthier, more resilient Indiana, and boost tourism within our state.

Take the tour

Activating Natural Spaces for Community Resilience

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Learn about the ways our natural landscapes are encouraging residents to explore our region, increase their physical activity, travel between communities, and learn about the environment that surrounds us.

Watch the video

Resource directory

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Discover webinars, podcasts, reports, and other resilience resources to inform community and university efforts.

Explore the directory

Campus connections

The Indiana Geological and Water Survey (IGWS) hosts a variety of outreach initiatives and maintains topographic maps to support surrounding communities and the state.

The Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University collaborates with Hoosiers and organizations throughout the region to better prepare Indiana and the Midwest for environmental changes that affect individuals, communities, businesses, and natural systems. 


Create thriving rural communities with us