SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced more than $3.8 million in Conservation 2000 grants to 30 local private-public partnerships for natural resource protection projects through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Ecosystems Program.
“Conservation 2000 has been successful in large part because local citizens and private property owners are dedicated to working together to improve their communities,” Gov. Ryan said. “These groups provide matching funds to accomplish the many important land management, habitat enhancement and resource conservation projects in watersheds throughout Illinois.”
Grants this year are being used to acquire interest in more than 856 acres and restore 9,624 acres of forests, wetlands and prairie. In addition, more than 11,000 students will be educated on the benefits of habitat restoration and protection. Governor Ryan noted that local ecosystem partnerships are matching the grants with more than $3 million of their own funds.
The C2000 Ecosystems Program brings together the interests and participation of local communities along watersheds-- landowners, businesses, scientists, environmental organizations, recreational enthusiasts, and policy makers -- in a partnership to enhance and protect watersheds through ecosystem-based management. Each partnership group is eligible to apply for grants and technical assistance from the Department of Natural Resources. The
program has grown to 39 such partnerships, covering 82 percent of the state’s landcover.
Since its inception, the C2000 Ecosystems Program has awarded more than $26.8 million in grants, while the partnerships have provided another $35 million in funding, for a total of $61.8 million for 626 projects throughout the state. These projects include more than 60,000 acres of habitat restoration, nearly 6,000 acres of land acquisition through conservation easement or purchase, and more than 450,000 citizens educated on the benefits of habitat restoration and protection.
The Conservation 2000 program provides technical and financial assistance to landowners interested in improving and enhancing the ecology in environmentally sensitive watersheds throughout the state. The program provides funding for habitat protection and restoration, environmental education, and planning and research projects proposed by the local watershed partnership organizations.
A list of grant recipients follows.
Conservation 2000 Grants
American Bottom Partnership
Counties: Jersey, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Randolph and St. Clair.
Primary Contact: Ed Weilbacher, 618/566-4451
St. Clair Co. Greenspace Fd., $9,237.44. Triple E Demonstration--Exotics, Education, Eradication. Exotic and invasive shrubs and vines will be removed on over 40 acres of publicly and privately owned land in the Mississippi River forested bluff land. In addition, educational materials will be sent to nearby landowners informing them of the importance of this project.
Cache River Partnership
Counties: Union, Johnson, Alexander, Pulaski, Pope and Massac.
Primary Contact: Don Hankla, 618/833-5343
Friends of the Cache River, $320,011.20. Upper Cache River Stream Channel Restoration.Channel incision in the upper Cache River will be corrected with riffle weirs, which will arrest channel degradation, sustain more than 2,000 acres of wetlands and hardwoods, and allow for more wetland restoration. Improvements will be assessed with bio monitoring.
Carlyle Lake Partnership
Counties: Montgomery, Bond, Marion, Clinton, Fayette, Effingham, Christian and Shelby.
Primary Contact: John Phillips, 618/283-1095
Ballard Nature Center, $40,640. All weather interpretive trail. Develop an all weather self-guided interpretive nature trail for physically disabled individuals. This 8/10th mile long interpretive trail would consist of an all weather surface that is firm, stable, slip resistant, and barrier free.
Illinois Audubon Society, $22,028. Habitat Development on the Karl Bartel Wildlife Sanctuary. The Illinois Audubon Society will construct 6 acres of wetland and restore 74 acres of prairie on the Karl Bartel Wildlife Sanctuary in Marion County. A previous C2000 Ecosytems grant was used to purchase the 80-acre sanctuary. This project will increase habitat diversity and offer enhanced educational opportunities.
Chicago Wilderness Partnership
Counties: McHenry, DuPage, Cook, Will and Lake.
Primary Contact: Rebecca Blazer, 312/346-2540 ext. 30
The Nature Conservancy, $89,320. Prairie Restoration at Indian Boundary Prairies. The Nature Conservancy will restore 20 acres of mesic prairie on newly donated lands in the Indian Boundary Prairies Preserve. This project will restore natural ecological processes and expand habitat for native plant and animal species at the preserve.
Driftless Area Partnership
Counties: Jo Daviess and Carroll
Primary Contact: Rich Mattas
Natural Land Institute, $56,662.75. Hanover Bluff Restoration. The Illinois Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, The Prairie Enthusiasts, and three private property owners will work together to develop and implement a restoration and management plan for about 415 acres adjoining the Hanover Bluff Nature Preserve.
Sterling/Rock Falls Family YMCA, $240,134.58. Camp Benson Land & Water Reserve Registration and Purchase of Development Rights. Acquire a 101 acre perpetual easement on the Camp Benson property located in the Waukarusa (Carroll) Creek Canyon and preserve this unique geologic area with its endangered natural resources, as identified in the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory, via a Nature Preserve Commission, Land and Water Reserve Registration.
DuPage River Coalition Partnership
Counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will.
Primary Contact: Dan Lobbes, 630/428-4500
Forest Preserve District of DuPage, $200,000. Springbrook Creek Stream Meandering. The District will re-meander 1½ miles of channeled Springbrook Creek and reconnect it with the historic flood plain. Stream channel design will improve aquatic habitat, and increase filtration and water quality of the stream.
The Conservation Foundation, $55,300. Lake Renwick Heron Rookery Nature Preserve Restoration. The Lake Renwick Heron Rookery, a dedicated Nature Preserve is home to a nesting colony of Black-Crowned Night Herons, Great Egrets, Double Crested Comorants, and Great Blue Herons. This project will remove a land bridge connecting the nesting islands to the mainland and create a small wetland, preventing mammalian predators access to the nesting colony.
Embarras River Partnership
Counties: Douglas, Edgar, Coles, Cumberland, Clark, Jasper, Richland, Crawford and Lawrence.
Primary Contact: Vince Gutowski, 217/581-3825
Bi-State Airport Authority, $6,264. Allison Gravel Prairie Reconstruction Project. Prairie grass and forb seed will be purchased to complete a 5-acre gravel prairie reconstruction that is providing habitat for a population of the State endangered royal catchfly (Silene regia). Interpretive signs and materials upon which the displays will be mounted will also be purchased.
Wabash Valley RC&D, $235,000. Purchase of a conservation easement at Shellbark Bottoms Natural Heritage Landmark. A permanent conservation easement will be purchased on 204 acres of flood plain forest, and wetlands that provides habitat for copper belly water snakes and river otters. The easement will be registered in the Illinois Registry of Land and Water Reserves.
Fox River Partnership
Counties: McHenry, Lake, Kane, Kendall, DuPage, LaSalle and Cook.
Primary Contact: Becky Hoag, 630/482-9157
Boone Creek Watershed Alliance (BCWA), $312,500. Acquisition of McAndrew Sedge Meadow and Upland. The Boone Creek Watershed Alliance will acquire approximately 20 acres of wetland, including a sedge meadow, and 17 acres of adjacent upland oak and hickory woodland. Another adjoining four-acre woodland conservation easement will be donated. A total of 41 acres will be protected.
Dundee Township, $13,900. Dundee Township Open Space Restoration/Management Project. Enhance biodiversity by improving habitat and water quality on eight acres by removing invasive vegetation in conjunction with an ongoing education/stewardship program to foster support of natural areas.
Counties: Ford, Champaign and Douglas.
Primary Contact: Leon Wendte, 217/398-5201 ext. 3
Champaign County SWCD, $225,100. Barnhart Prairie Restoration Expansion. Adding to previous C2000 Ecosystems grants, this will complete the purchase of a permanent easement on an additional 44.1 acres of crop land adjacent to the Barnhart Grove Prairie. The site will be used for habitat, education, recreation and research purposes.
Illinois River Bluffs
Counties: Bureau, Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Lee, Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford.
Primary Contact: David Meisenheimer, 815/875-8732
Ducks Unlimited, $19,480. Crow Creek Wetland Demonstration. Ducks Unlimited will restore a 5-acre wetland as a demonstration site for future wetland restoration projects within Crow Creek watershed. C-2000 funds will also be used to restore at least four additional wetland demonstration sites covering an estimated 15 acres within the Crow Creek watershed. Restored wetlands will serve multi resource purposes of slowing storm water run off, trapping sediment, controlling stream channel erosion and providing habitat for wetland wildlife.
Kaskaskia River Partnership
Counties: Bond, Madison, St. Clair, Clinton, Washington, Marion and Jefferson.
Primary Contact: Larry Hasheider, 618/243-5514
Southwestern Illinois RC&D, Inc., $65,000. Hole in the Doughnut, Phase II. This second phase of a multiple phase project will provide incentives to landowners within the Kaskaskia River bottomland hardwood forest to incorporate key parcels of property, including prior converted fields, into a conservation enhancement program.
Washington County SWCD, $10,656. Garlic Mustard Control in the Kaskaskia. Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a rapidly spreading exotic weed that is displacing native species and negatively affecting the balance of the forest ecosystem. This project will eradicate Garlic Mustard on 40 acres and educate local landowners to control and, eventually, eradicate this species from the area.
Kinkaid Area Watershed Partnership
Counties: Jackson, Perry, Randolph and Washington.
Primary Contact: Lou Strack, 618/684-5370
Greater Egypt Regional Planning & Development Commission, $83,200. Kinkaid Lake/Uplands Shoreline: Establish Transitional Wetland. Establish 1,600-foot transitional wetland between a berm and severely eroded upland shoreline to create favorable habitat for natural succession of plant/animal life, i.e., invertebrate colonization; spawning/rearing of amphibians and forage fish; and use by foraging water birds.
Kishwaukee River Partnership
Counties: McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, DeKalb and Ogle.
Primary Contact: Nathan Hill, 815/544-3060
DeKalb County Forest Preserve District, $28,950. South Branch, Kishwaukee River Prairie/Savannah Restoration. The DeKalb County Forest Preserve District staff, volunteers, and contracted labor will restore (Grand Prairie Ecotype) Prairie and Oak Savannah habitat on approximately 35 acres of agricultural land.
Rockford Park District, $8,880. Atwood Prairie Restoration. Enhance the native plant communities and animal habitats of the Atwood Prairie. The prairie is moderately to heavily disturbed. Native and nonnative species of trees and brush must be removed and controlled. The degree of invasion is more than can be controlled using volunteers and park district staff alone. With removal of these species the prairie will be expanded by natural seeding and management. Involvement of volunteers in management will increase awareness and appreciation for this native community.
Lake Calumet Partnership
Primary Contact: Mike Siola, 773/995-2964
Neighborspace, $69,000. Peace Pipe Prairie Conservation Easement/Calumet River. Purchase a 30 year conservation easement on approximately 6 acres of property that is critically located on the north bank of the Little Calumet River just south of the Altgeld Gardens neighborhood. The property will be used for educational programming for disadvantaged children.
LaMoine River Partnership
Counties: Adams, Brown, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, McDonough, Schuyler and Warren.
Primary Contact: Martha Sheppard, 217/285-4114
Alice Henry, $7,973. Thistle Hills Grassland Bird Habitat Development. Native shortgrass prairie will be established on 13 acres of existing crop land within Thistle Hills Land and Water Reserve to provide nesting habitat for grassland-sensitive breeding birds. This project will be located two miles northwest of Macomb, in McDonough County, Illinois.
Lower Des Plaines Partnership
Counties: Cook, DuPage and Will.
Primary contact: Gary Mechanic, 773/267-0146
Forest Preserve District of Cook County, $51,000. Forest Preserve District of Cook County Theodore Stone Revitalization Project. A combined total of 17 acres of globally endangered wet, mesic and dry dolomite prairie habitat will be cleared of invasive plants and maintained with regular burns and spot herbiciding. EcoWatch and District monitoring protocols will be used to assess the recovery of cleared land.
Hofmann Dam River Rats, $39,980. Des Plaines River Diversion Channel Project (Phase II). Creation of 1000 feet of instream rock structures will re-establish flow diversity and create habitat for aquatic vegetation, specifically water willow.
Lower Kaskaskia River Partnership
Counties: Bond, Clinton, Jackson, Macoupin, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Perry, Randolph, St. Clair and Washington.
Primary Contact: Norm Etling, 618/632-1406
William Mueller, $1,520. Horse Creek Glade Restoration. This newly-approved Illinois Natural Area Inventory site is home to the state endangered Talinum calycinum (fameflower). This grant allows for the hand removal of cedar trees and other invasive species that are currently suppressing the prairie plants in this two-acre site.
Lower Rock River Partnership
Counties: Lee, Whiteside, Rock Island, Henry, Bureau, Ogle and Carroll.
Primary Contact: Don Swensson, 309/762-5417
John Kennay, $12,300. Shallow Water Habitat for Waterfowl. Phase II of a multiple phase restoration of a 45-acre degraded wetland involving several organizations and state agencies. This grant will complement phase 1 and provide suitable habitat for aquatic wildlife.
Rock Island SWCD, $6,680. Native Habitat Reestablishment Program. Purchase a tree planter for use by landowners interested in planting trees and/or shrubs on approximately 400 acres for
riparian forest buffers to reduce soil erosion and sedimentation, improve water quality, and benefit wildlife.
Lower Sangamon Valley Partnership
Counties: Cass, Christian, Logan, McLean, Macon, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Sangamon, Shelby, Tazewell.
Primary Contact: Eric Golden, 217/632-7590 ext. 3
Ducks Unlimited, $55,050. Partners for Wildlife—Lower Sangamon. Restore and enhance approximately 500 acres of wetland habitat within the flood plain of the Illinois and Sangamon River Valleys. Specific project sites will be prioritized so as to provide maximum wildlife benefit in wetland restoration, cost-share assistance and materials to private landowners.
Mackinaw River Partnership
Counties: Ford, Livingston, McLean, Mason, Tazewell and Woodford.
Primary Contact: Mary Jo Adams, 309/762-5417
Landowner, $31,740. Denman Creek Restoration: Wetland, Prairie, and Savanna. Restore approximately 27 acres of heavily grazed pasture and riparian area into oak savanna, woodland and prairie. A tile-treatment wetland will retain water that has contributed to significant stream bank erosion in Denman Creek. Improvement of wildlife habitat and a more natural hydro logic regime is this project’s goal.
Mississippi Western Five Partnership
Counties: Henderson, Henry, Know, Mercer and Warren.
Primary Contact: Sue Sperry, 309/438-5955
Southern High School Board, $12,528.60. Southern FFA Chapter’s Land Lab Reconstruction. Students from the Southern FFA Land Lab will convert 18.5 acres into a conservation area and wildlife refuge. Project components include wetland and savanna restoration, pond, timber stand improvements, and several outdoor classrooms.
North Branch of the Chicago River Partnership
Counties: Cook, DuPage and Lake
Primary Contact: Sean Wiedel 847/918-7693
Deerfield High School, $94,700. River Restoration Phase II: Upstream. Restore the Middle Fork/North Branch/Chicago River that flows through the Deerfield High School campus. The focus of these efforts is to turn the campus into a working, living, outdoor lab used by students and the community for decades.
Lake Forest Open Lands Association, $18,500. Middlefork Farm Nature Preserve North Wetland Enhancement. This grant will restore 12 acres of the last remaining stretch of valley of the Chicago River North Branch. Planting of native hardwoods, shrubs and plants will improve the habitat structure of the preserve, introduce shrub layers and ensure next generation of oak trees while helping to provide habitat for numerous endangered and threatened species.
Prairie Parklands Partnership
Counties: Cook, Will and Grundy
Primary Contact: Joyce O'Keefe, 312/427-4256
Goose Lake Gobblers NWTF, $23,475. 65-Acre Mixed Hardwood Tree Planting. Planting 65 acres of mixed upland hardwoods as part of riparian corridor restoration. Thirty acres of the planting has been submitted to the NWTF Superfund for funding. The landowner will provide, as per an approved Forestry Plan, labor, tractor rental and herbicide application as their portion of cost-share dollars.
The Wetlands Initiative, $50,000. Stage II Restoration Activities, South Patrol Road Prairie Restoration. Restoration of 44.2 acres of prairie will be accomplished by land clearing and removal of woody debris. A cover crop will be then be planted along with seeding of native mesic prairie, wet prairie and sedge meadow vegetation at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.
Rock River Partnership
Primary Contact: Robert Vogl, 815/732-7332
Natural Land Institute, $433,000.93. Kyte River Bottoms Land Acquisition. Purchase 242.87 acres of bottomland forest and associated uplands along the Kyte River, adjacent to a DNR Forest Legacy easement of 89 acres.
Prairie Preservation Society, $16,072. Pine Rock and Wade Prairie Nature Preserves Restoration Project. Habitat restoration, preserve protection, and access improvement on 10 acres at the Pine Rock and Douglas E. Wade Nature Preserves will be accomplished by (1) mechanized and hand removal of invasive woody species with cut stump herbicide treatment (2) replacement of a fence, and (3) installation of small parking pullover area at the southeast corner of Pine Rock Preserve.
Shawnee Ecosystem Partnership
Counties: Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope and Saline.
Primary Contact: Grover Webb, 618/683-2651
Pope-Hardin SWCD, $19,545. No-Till Drill for Native Grassland Reintroduction. Purchase a no-till grass drill to be used by local residents to reintroduce native warm-season and cool season grasses and to plant wildlife food plots on approximately 600 acres of pasture and row crops.
Pope-Hardin SWCD, $121,652. Woodland Habitat Enhancement Program. This program will encourage landowners to implement forest management plans on approximately 2,000 acres of existing woodland and provide cost-share funds to landowners interested in maintaining, enhancing and restoring native oak ecosystems.
Sinkhole Plain Partnership
Counties: Monroe, Randolph and St. Clair
Primary Contact: Art Ritter, 618/939-4256
Illinois Audubon Society, $13,200. Hill Prairie/Glade Restoration on Illinois Natural Area Inventory Sites. Restore hill prairies and glades by removing woody species on about 50 acres of Illinois Natural Area Inventory sites in Monroe and St. Clair counties.
Spoon River Partnership
Counties: Bureau, Fulton, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Marshall, Peoria, Stark and Warren.
Primary Contact: David King, 309/833-4747
Warren County SWCD, $15,671. Phase II Streambank Inventory Implementation. Phase II of the stream bank inventory is to implement the inventory completed in Phase I. Out of a total of 110 sites, 37 sites were identified equaling 4,370 feet of degraded stream bank along crop land. This program would contribute 10 percent of the cost and the landowners will contribute 10 percent of the cost of the installation of stream bank stabilization practices. The objective of this phase is to cost-share at least eight projects along Negro and Picayune creeks.
Thorn Creek Macrosite Partnership
Counties: Cook and Will.
Primary Contact: Karen D’Arcy
Governors State University, $79,050. Thorn Creek Headwater, Wet Prairie Restoration. Restore 22 acres of land currently in agriculture and an additional 22 acres located in the GSU-Thorn Creek Preserve to wet prairie. The 44 acres include 1,500 feet of Thorn Creek headwaters, helping to reduce runoff and siltation. Monitoring at the site will contribute to educational and scientific activities.
Olympia Fields Park District, $157,500. Spirit Trail Park Natural Area Expansion: Acquisition of 25.13 Acres. The Olympia Fields Park District has entered into a lease agreement with CorLands for the purchase of 25.13 acres of forested flood plain along Butterfield Creek. This acquisition adjoins an existing 10-acre upland owned by the park district.
Upper Des Plaines Partnership
Counties: Lake, DuPage and Cook.
Primary Contact: Betsy Dietel
Lake County Forest Preserve District, $87,134.07. Rollins Savanna Habitat Restoration. The Rollins Savanna Habitat Restoration Project will entail several activities to support the ongoing restoration of this 1,225-acre preserve. Planting of native wetland plants, upland trees and shrubs, and nursery plantings by Youth Conservation Corps crews acting as contractors and instructed by the project manager.
Long Grove Park District, $39,000. Indian Creek Cooperative Eight-Acre Restoration Project. Restoration at the Reed-Turner Woodland, an Illinois State Nature Preserve, will include removal of exotics and re-establishment of native vegetation in order to decrease erosion and improve flood flow. This project will serve as a demonstration to education students and adults on the benefits of a healthy watershed.
Vermilion River Partnership
Counties: Vermilion and Iroquois.
Primary contact: Kevin Green, 217/442-8511
Vermilion County Soil & Water Conservation District, $6,000. Exotic and Invasive Species Control in Rare and Declining Habitat. Provide exotic and invasive species control on approximately 150 acres of woodland at several high quality natural areas (or adjacent buffers) in the Vermilion River Ecosystem Partnership. Rare community types (oak barrens) and rare plants (orchids) will benefit.
Vermilion County SWCD, $300,005. North Fork Vermilion River Habitat Enhancement Project-Phase2, Conservation Easement. 100 acres of permanent easements will be purchased in targeted areas previously identified in this resource-rich area. The goal of this project is to reduce habitat fragmentation, improve/protect water quality, improve stability of streams and create areas for forest and grassland species.