Area groups awarded state conservation grants

SPRINGFIELD—The Illinois Conservation Foundation has awarded 49 grants totaling nearly $72,000 for environmental education, habitat enhancement and natural resources preservation projects and programs throughout the state.

“From scouting troops to school groups to sporting organizations, those who are receiving the ICF grants are furthering the cause of natural resources stewardship in Illinois,” said Joel Brunsvold, chairman of the Illinois Conservation Foundation and director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“The grants are providing seed money for the investment these groups are making in improving the quality of life in their communities.”

Applications for the grants were reviewed by staff and a board committee and were approved by the full board of directors of the ICF. This is the third year of the grant program, which has awarded nearly $200,000 in grants for more than 90 projects since 2001.

For more information on the grant program and applications for the next round of grants, contact the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271, phone (217) 785-2003, or visit the ICF Web site at

The Illinois Conservation Foundation, an IRS 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit corporation established in 1995, has raised more than $16 million to support the programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Grant winners in the Rockford area include the following:

n CSA Learning Center, Caledonia, $500—An oak savanna restoration and education project intended to connect urban residents with the region environmental resources.

n Dixon Park District, Dixon, $1,000—Removal of invasive plants for habitat enhancement to benefit native plants and wildlife.

n Focus House/Rochelle Township High School District 21, Rochelle, $350—Creation of a butterfly garden for enhancing the educational experience of students during summer school.

n Girl Scouts of Green Hills Council, Inc., Freeport, $1,000—Participation by more than 100 girls in the “Three Days—Before the Plow” program focusing on tall grass prairie restoration and preservation.

n “Hoo” Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Durand, $2,500—To construct an outdoor flight training cage for rehabilitating hawks, owls and eagles.

n Lee County Soil and Water Conservation District Natural Area Guardian Committee, Amboy, $1,000—Removal and control of invasive species at Ryan Wetland and Sand Prairie in Lee County, a critical habitat area for threatened Blandings Turtle and other species.

n Northern Illinois Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry, Rockford, $1,000—Assist in covering the cost of processing deer meat for distribution to the Hunger Connection in Rockford.

n Summersville School Science Club, Freeport, $2,500—Middle school students will practice habitat restoration and wildlife management.

n University of Illinois Extension-Stephenson County Soil and Water Conservation District, Freeport, $500—To support the Keepers of the Land outdoor stewardship day, a hands on outdoor environmental program for 3rd and 4th grade students.

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