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April 11, 2007

IDNR awards 14 additional Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants
Over $39,000 awarded for Fiscal Year 2007, the largest amount of funding ever awarded for the program

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood today awarded 14 additional Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants totaling more than $13,500.  The grants announced today are in addition to 32 grants totaling more than $25,700 awarded last month.  More than 2,100 students will be able to visit Illinois state parks, museums and other natural resources sites to learn more about Illinois’ biodiversity with support of the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants program.

“We are delighted to be able to award additional grants this spring that will allow even more students to learn about and experience first-hand the biodiversity of outdoor Illinois,” said Director Flood.  “After learning of the great demand for biodiversity field trips this year, the Independence Tube Corporation of Chicago contributed additional funds to allow us to assist 14 more applicants with field trips to study our natural resources.”

Started in 2001, the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip program is a competitive grant program that allows Illinois teachers to apply for funds to take students out of the classroom to study some aspect of Illinois’ biodiversity.  Learning activities must be related to the Illinois Learning Standards from the Illinois State Board of Education.  The annual application deadline is January 31.  Each teacher may apply for up to $500.  Funding is administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation and covers such expenses as transportation and substitute teachers.

Since its inception, the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant program has distributed more than $209,000 and reached more than 25,000 students.

“The $39,225.96 provided in grants in 2007 is the most we have awarded in any application period,” said Valerie Keener, Administrator of the IDNR Division of Education.  “The recipients are located throughout Illinois and represent students from pre-kindergarten through high school.  With the support of this program, these students will be exposed to diverse learning experiences that extend far beyond the classroom.” 

The application form for the next round of grants is available online at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/education/classrm/grants.htm or may be requested through the online order form at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/education/CLASSRM/edmats02.htm. Application deadline is January 31, 2008.  For more information, contact Valerie Keener at valerie.keener@illinois.gov or by phone at 217/785-0973.  A list of the latest grant awards is below.

2007 Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Awards – Second Distribution

Cook County
Chalmers School, Chicago. Grades: K-6. Destination: Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe. Grant Award: $1,115.
Niños Heroes Academy, Chicago. Grades: 3-6. Destination: Sand Ridge Nature Center, South Holland. Grant Award: $500.

Du Page County
Downers Grove School District #58, Downers Grove. Grade: 1. Destination: Lyman Woods, Downers Grove. Grant Award: $2,100.
Du Page Montessori School, Naperville. Grades: 1-5. Destination: Lorado Taft Campus, Oregon. Grant Award: $671.
Montini Catholic High School, Lombard. Grade: 11. Destination: Morton Arboretum, Lisle. Grant Award: $1,300.

Edgar County
Carolyn Wenz Elementary School, Paris. Grades: 3-4. Destination: Douglas-Hart Nature Center, Mattoon. Grant Award: $935.

Hardin County
Hardin County High School, Elizabethtown. Grades: 10-11. Destination: Cache River Wetlands Center, Ullin. Grant Award: $286.

Kane County
Einstein Academy, Elgin. Grades: 1-high school. Destination: Morton Arboretum, Lisle. Grant Award: $1,646.

Madison County
Collinsville Middle School, Collinsville. Grade: 7. Destination: Pere Marquette State Park, Grafton. Grant Award: $528.

McDonough County
West Prairie High School, Sciota. Grades: 11-12. Destination: Jake Wolf Memorial Fish Hatchery, Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge and Dickson Mounds Museum, Havana area. Grant Award: $427.64.

Sangamon County
Little Flower School, Springfield. Grade: 8. Destination: Wildlife Prairie State Park, Peoria. Grant Award: $640.
Ursuline Academy, Springfield. Grades: 9-12. Destination: Riverside Park, Springfield. Grant Award: $1,180.

St. Clair County
Marie Schaefer School, O’Fallon. Grade: 6. Destination: Touch of Nature Environmental Center, Carbondale. Grant Award: $1,500.

Will County
Sanchez Elementary School, Joliet. Grade: 5. Destination: Morton Arboretum, Lisle. Grant Award: $690.


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