Grant opportunities available

Individuals and organizations in Stephenson and Winnebago counties interested in submitting proposals to receive grant funds from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) are encouraged to attend a meeting of the Sugar-Pecatonica Rivers Ecosystem Partnership at 5:30 p.m., Jan. 12 at the US Bank in Pecatonica.

Projects that protect and restore prairies, woodlands and wetlands for wildlife are given the highest priority. Members of the Sugar-Pecatonica Rivers Ecosystem Partnership and IDNR Regional Administrator for the Conservation 2000 Program offer help preparing and writing grants.

Application forms and instructions are available at Applicants can call Sue Merchant at the Natural Land Institute at 964-6666 for more information. Application deadline is Feb. 27, 2004.

Citizens have formed 39 ecosystem partnerships throughout Illinois. Partnerships in northern Illinois are the Driftless Area, Kishwaukee River, Lower Rock River, Rock River, Sugar-Pecatonica Rivers, and Upper Rock River.

The Conservation 2000 Ecosystem Program brings together the interests and participation of local communities along watersheds—landowners, businesses, scientists, environmental organizations, recreational enthusiasts and policy makers—in partnerships to enhance and protect land, water and wildlife through ecosystem-based management. Each partnership group is eligible to apply for grants and technical assistance from the IDNR.

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