SPRINGFIELD – Butterfly gardens, prairie plots and wetland study areas are just some of the projects students have developed through the Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Program from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The IDNR is accepting applications for the 2007 grant program now through Friday, November 30.
Through this competitive grant process, teachers and youth group leaders may apply for up to $600 to develop a wildlife habitat area or enhance an existing one. The project must be on the school grounds or a public area, such as a local park. Successful applicants have one year to implement the project and submit a report. Emphasis is placed on student involvement and learning. Incorporating the study of wildlife into the curriculum can be very rewarding and can support the Illinois Learning Standards in several subject areas.
“Students have the ability to affect positive change in their world,” said IDNR Acting Director Sam Flood. “This grant program provides them with the opportunity to see how their actions can make a difference for wildlife.”
New for this year is a change in the application deadline. Application forms must be postmarked by November 30, 2007. Grant funds will be available to awardees by February 1, 2008.
To download the application form and instructions, go to http://dnr.state.il.us and click on the “Grants” link in the left side bar. For more information, contact the IDNR Division of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-524-4126. Funding for this program was provided by the Jadel Family Foundation and is administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation.