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November 15, 1999

Governor Ryan Announces $3.8 Million In Conservation 2000 Grants For Natural Resource Restoration Projects

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced more than $3.8 million in grants to 27 local private-public partnerships for natural resource protection projects under the Illinois Conservation 2000 program.

"This grant program recognizes the importance of private property owners, local citizens and state government working together to protect the environment in watersheds throughout Illinois," Ryan said. "From stabilizing streambanks and restoring prairies to providing land management expertise and developing educational programs, these projects will preserve and enhance natural resources while addressing local economic and recreational concerns."

The partnerships receiving grants are matching the state funding with $12.5 million in cash, in-kind and other contributions.

Conservation 2000 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, planning and research projects proposed by the local watershed partnership organizations.

Conservation 2000 Grants - November 15, 1999

Big Rivers Partnership
Counties: Greene, Jersey and Calhoun
Primary Contact: Annie Hoagland, 618/466-4364

*Great Rivers Land Preservation Association, Inc. $172,500. Emmons Property Acquisition. Association will acquire a 26.0-acre tract bordering the Oblate Forest near Godfrey to provide an ecological buffer zone. The property contains part of a creek that flows through Youngblood Hollow and possesses the potential for bluff prairie restoration.

* Joseph Ritter, Landowner, $2,620. NutDale Wetland. The landowner will construct a 5.0-acre wetland in the river bottom at the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers near Godfrey, part of one of the major flight corridors for migratory birds.

* Calhoun High School, $4,547. Educational Tree and Prairie Grass Area. An educational tree and grass area will be established using hardwood and pine trees and prairie grasses on a site located on the Calhoun High School grounds.

Cache River Partnership
Counties: Union, Johnson, Alexander, Pulaski, Pope and Massac
Primary contact: Don Hankla, 618/833-5343

* Shawnee Resource Conservation and Develop, $200,000. Cache Watershed Special Wetland Reserve Program Project. Wetlands will be restored throughout the Cache River Partnership, including 8,000 acres of land for which perpetual conservation easements have been secured through the Special Wetland Reserve Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

* Friends of the Cache River, $6,200. Poole Wetland. A 35-acre wetland on federal watershed property will be restored in Union County approximately five miles west-southwest of Ferne Clyffe State Park.

* Friends of the Cache River, $6,700. Dodd Wetland. A 110-acre wetland on federal watershed property will be restored near Villa Ridge.

* Friends of the Cache River, $10,350. Cache River Wetlands Teacher Inservice. A three-day teachers workshop will be conducted on the Educator's Guide to the Cache River Wetland. The workshop will include exploring the Cache River wetland and its connections among watersheds, wetlands, wildlife and people.

* Shawnee Resource Conservation and Development, $74,500. Critical Land Use Inventory/Outreach. An outreach effort will be aimed at owners of important tracts of property within the Cache River basin, offering planning and technical assistance. The project intends to increase awareness of resource conservation initiatives and conservation program participation in hopes of eventually leading to reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, improved water quality and enhanced wildlife and plant communities.

Carlyle Lake Partnership
Counties: Montgomery, Bond, Marion, Clinton, Fayette, Effingham, Christian and Shelby
Primary Contact: Jim Harris, 314/966-8404

* Matthew Bretz, $3,700. Wetland Development. A 5.0-acre wetland will be developed in a Conservation Reserve Program field located north of the Dam West Recreation Area at Carlyle Lake, while an existing 1.0-acre wetland will be restored with replacement of water control structures.

* Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District, $9,150. Watershed Landowner Survey. A survey of landowners in the Carlyle Lake watershed will be conducted as a means of refining objectives of the watershed plan for the area. The survey will focus on land use, fish and wildlife resources, recreation and other natural resource issues.

* Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District, $15,000. Drilling For Clean Water. A no-till drill will be purchased for use by landowners in the Carlyle Lake watershed in Fayette County.

* Ramsey Community Schools, $4,445. A Touch of Nature. An educational center for K-12 classes, community members and organizations will be developed on a 6.5-acre tract of land at the Ramsey Community Unit District #204 site in Ramsey.

* Fayette County Soil and Water Conservation District, $5,000. Carlyle Lake Burn Equipment. Prescribed burn equipment will be purchased for use by qualified individuals and groups within the Carlyle Lake watershed to address concerns of the Watershed Planning Committee about maintaining wildlife habitat.

* Robert Wilkins, $15,000. Boulder Flats Reforestation. Approximately 18.5 acres of bottomland hardwood trees will be planted at Boulder Flats near Carlyle Lake to replace trees damaged or destroyed during lake flood reduction operations east of the lake.

* The Illinois Audubon Society, $90,500. Southern Till Prairie Reserve. The society will acquire land or easements within the project boundary near Twelve Mile Prairie and Prairie Ridge State Natural Area in Fayette and Marion counties for development of the Southern Till Plain Prairie Land and Water Reserve.

Chicago Wilderness Partnership
Counties: McHenry, DuPage, Cook, Will and Lake
Primary Contact: David Wachtel, 312/346-8166 ext. 30

* Chicago Academy of Sciences, $30,115. Outreach in Municipal Communities. The academy, in cooperation with neighborhood organizations, will begin an ecosystem education and outreach program in Chicago area urban neighborhoods.

* The Wetlands Initiative, Inc., $15,000. Somme Prairie Watershed Recovery Plan. To restore damage caused by runoff and gully erosion, a hydrologic recovery plan will be developed for the Underwriters Ditch, a tributary of the West Fork of the North Branch of the Chicago River, running through the Somme Prairie Nature Preserve in Northbrook.

* The Conservation Foundation, $24,915. Streamside Landowners Assistance Program (SLAP). The SLAP will be expanded to include hands-on assistance and consultation with landowners, a 50-percent reimbursement program for selected land management practices, a series of workshops to view successful restoration projects, a certification program, distribution of 5,000 copies of the publication "Streamwheels," and the organization of a stream side landowners association in the DuPage River watershed.

* Save The Prairie Society, $8,000. Wolf Road Prairie Buffer Restoration. A 5.0-acre buffer will be restored near the Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve in Westchester by removal of brush and non-native trees, through herbicide application and, following ground preparation, use of prescribed burns.

* University of Illinois Board of Trustees, $15,651. Yellow-Headed Blackbirds in Illinois. Researchers will gather information critical to the long-term survival of the yellow-headed blackbird in northeastern Illinois.

Driftless Area Partnership
Counties: Jo Daviess and Carroll
Primary Contact: Jim Rachuy, 815/777-9525

* Gramercy Park Foundation, $14,784. Gramercy Park Interpretive and Habitat Project. Work includes restoration and preservation of historical structures in Gramercy Park in East Dubuque, along with installation of protective fencing near the bluff crest.

* The Natural Area Guardians of Jo Daviess County, $7,300. Roadside Vegetation Inventory, Education and Management Plan. The group will develop a roadside inventory to identify areas of native plant communities worthy of protection through special management practices. The project will include educating landowners and others on the value of native grasses and other vegetation.

* Thomas Arnold, $15,400. Watershed Protection Through Managed Rotational Grazing. The project will develop a rotational grazing system, utilizing mobile paddocks and water delivery systems as an alternative to allowing livestock to use rivers and streams while grazing in rural Jo Daviess County. The project will provide the basis for installation of riparian buffer strips and use of streambank stabilization to produce cleaner water.

* Northwest Illinois Prairie Enthusiasts, $24,900. Galena River Ecological Survey. The study will inventory natural resources in the Galena River watershed near Galena, publishing results and developing protection and restoration recommendations.

* Jo Daviess Soil and Water Conservation District, $50,000. Streambank Stabilization/Plum River Watershed Greenway Plan. The district will provide a 75 percent cost share program for landowners agreeing to streambank stabilization projects, with two-thirds of the funds allocated to the Muddy Plum and North Fork stream segments in Jo Daviess County.

Embarras Partnership
Counties: Douglas, Edgar, Coles, Cumberland, Clark, Jasper, Richland, Crawford and Lawrence
Primary contact: Vince Gutowski, 217/581-3825

* Les Combs, $147,550. Conservation of Sargent's Woods Natural Area. The funding will place a permanent conservation easement on 54 acres of high-quality upland forest at Sargent's Woods Natural Area near Charleston, protecting it from adverse land use or development.

* Robert Green, $3,000. Green Prairie. Appropriate legume and forb seeds will be purchased for planting at Green Prairie, a 10-acre prairie remnant near Hidalgo in Jasper County, recognized by the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory and enrolled in the Illinois Natural Heritage Landmark Program.

* Embarras River Management Association, $25,750. Nitrogen Efficiency Education Campaign. The association will contact farmers in Coles, Douglas and Edgar counties, review their nitrogen application and other data, then analyze the information using the SAFE (Systematic Analysis of Fertilizer-Nitrogen Efficiency) computer program. Results will be reviewed with farmers to offer options on more efficient use of nitrogen fertilizer.

* Casey-Westfield High School, $9,983. A Four-County Cooperative Environmental Education Project. Funds will be used to standardize equipment and training for the staff at each of four schools within the watershed as part of an environmental education program. Teachers will educate students in field and laboratory methods, water quality and habitat assessment techniques.

* Eastern Illinois University, $14,470. Social Decision Making Characteristics of Landowners and Operators in Hurricane Creek Pilot Watershed Area. EIU will review historical data on patterns of decision making and adoption of conservation programs by farmers and farm landowners, administer a survey and organize workshops for interested farmers and landowners in the Hurricane Creek watershed in Coles County.

Fox River Partnership
Counties: McHenry, Lake, Kane, Kendall, DuPage, LaSalle and Cook
Primary contact: Bill Donnell, 630/897-0516

* Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, $39,280. Fox River Fish Passage Feasibility Project. The project will look at the Fox fishery through a review of existing data and field sampling to determine fish population, aquatic habitat and dams in the lower Fox River and lower reaches of its larger tributaries between McHenry and Dayton dams. Priority species will be identified and recommendations will be made on the best ways to allow fish to pass through the dams.

* Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, $14,000. Stormwater Technical Assistance and Education. The project will provide information to local officials on the need for and benefits of sustainable site design and stormwater management practices to protect streams, lakes and wetlands in the Fox River watershed in Kane, Lake, McHenry and DuPage counties.

* Kane County Forest Park District, $112,000. Pingree Grove Acquisition. Funds will be used to acquire 645 acres of semi-marsh wetland on a tributary of Tyler Creek near Pingree Grove in Kane County.

* Fox Valley Land Foundation, $100,000. Land Acquisition and Naturalization of Poplar Creek Adjacent To Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve. Funds will be used to acquire 33 acres of flood plain along Poplar Creek near Bluff Springs Fen Nature Preserve and to conduct a multi-year study of benefit of returning a natural stream flow to the current channelized length of Poplar Creek.

* Elgin YWCA, $27,967. Brewster Creek Dam Removal Design. Project completes the final design and engineering work for the removal of two dams on Brewster Creek near Elgin. Removing the dams will allow fish to move between the Fox River and the headwaters of Brewster Creek.

* Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, $22,000. Fox River Ecosystem Partnership Resource Database and Director. The project will develop the method for collecting database information, purchase appropriate database programs and contract with regional assistants for completion of data collection and preparation of a resource directory for McHenry, Lake, Kane, Kendall, DuPage, Cook and LaSalle counties.

* Camp Algonquin, $2,547. Developing a Watershed Education Program at Camp Algonquin. Purchase equipment and materials for a watershed education program for school children participating in the Metropolitan Family Services' Camp Algonquin in Algonquin.

* The Conservation Foundation, $139,250. Marsh Relics Acquisition - Lower Fox River. Acquire a conservation easement on 110 acres of land located along the south side of the Fox River near Wedron to protect the bluffs and extend the land preserved along the bluff area.

* The Conservation Foundation, $15,000. Development of Big Rock Creek Watershed Plan. Assist citizens in development of a watershed plan for the Big Rock Creek watershed in Kane and Kendall counties.

* McHenry County Defenders, $27,700. North Branch Nippersink Creek Corridor. Using the Fox River Ecosystem Partnership (FREP) GIS computer system, a database of land parcels will be created. Meetings with local government and private agency officials and private landowners in McHenry County will be used to coordinate the purchase of conservation easements. A map will be developed showing areas already protected and property in need of protection. Options for protection will be presented and discussed at a public meeting.

Headwaters Partnership
Counties: Ford, Champaign and Douglas
Primary contact: Leon Wendte, 217/398-5212 ext. 202

* Champaign County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $590. Native Grass Demonstration Plot. A demonstration area of native grasses will be developed along Illinois Route 9 west of Paxton. It will serve to educate the public on the benefits of native grass establishment and on how the area appeared in pre-settlement times.

* Champaign County SWCD, $25,000. Watershed Planning and Implementation Coordinator. Funds will be used to contract for a two-year period with a watershed coordinator for the Headwaters Partnership.

* Champaign County SWCD, $18,525. Hands-on Environmental In-Service for K-12 Educators. A four-day educational program for teachers from Champaign County to provide hands-on field training on ecosystem issues.

* Champaign County SWCD, $8,000. Historic Watershed Aerial Photographic Coverage. National High Altitude Aerial Photographic maps of Champaign County will be converted to a digital format through use of GIS computer data. They will be combined into a seamless and geo-referenced database for use in improved land management planning.

* Champaign County SWCD, $12,000. Using Technology for Conservation Planning. A contractor will digitize information on soil boundary lines, topographical lines, aerial photography, and information on hydrology and site-specific land management practices in Champaign County.

* Champaign County SWCD, $26,075. Reforestation of Riparian Buffers by Direct Seeding. Special seed planting equipment will be used for direct seeding to establish a riparian forest corridor on approximately 250 acres of property in Champaign County.

* Champaign County SWCD, $50,000. New Imagery for Watershed Research. Experimental NASA hyper spectral imagery will be purchased for the Salt Fork Creek watershed In Champaign County. Band and image analysis procedures will be developed for answering specific natural resource and watershed management questions.

Heart of the Sangamon River Partnership
Counties: Macon and Piatt
Primary contact: Jim Reed, 217/762-2128

* Piatt County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $6,000. Conservation Practice Management Program. The District will advise farmers in Piatt County on maintaining waterways, terraces and other conservation practices to help reduce soil loss and improve water quality.

* Piatt County SWCD, $1,265. Watershed Education. Watershed demonstrations and displays will be prepared and presented at teacher training workshops, school classes, adult civic and educational groups and at a variety of public events through Piatt County. The demonstrations will focus on soil erosion, non-point versus point source pollution, soil conservation practices and watershed management.

* Macon County SWCD, $4,080. Wetland and Streambank Educational Materials. The Handbook For Wetlands Conservation and Sustainability and Guide To Streambank Restoration will be purchased and distributed to libraries, colleges, farm organizations, SWCD and municipal offices in Macon County and within the watershed.

* Decatur Sanitary District, $30,000. Sangamon River Survey - Dam to Wyckles Road. The survey will be a comprehensive planning tool for specific rehabilitation, habitat, outreach and capital projects that can be prioritized and initiated on that segment of the Sangamon River between the Lake Decatur dam and Wyckles Road in Decatur.

Illinois River Bluffs Partnership
Counties: LaSalle, Putnam, Lee, Bureau, Marshall, Woodford, Peoria and Tazewell
Primary contact: Kim St. John, 309/364-3979

* Illinois Audubon Society, $14,000. Acquisition of Hopewell Estates Hill Prairies Lot #238 in Marshall County. The purchase involves 14 acres of woodland, high-quality glacial drift hill prairie and degraded prairie near Hopewell to protect the natural resource value of the site.

* Bureau County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $15,614. Natural Area Trail Project. The project provides for purchase of a Bachtolf weed and brush mower and aluminum reflective signs for the development of an educational trail system on SWCD property in Bureau County. The trail will provide easier access and minimize damage to plants at the natural areas owned by the SWCD.

* Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, $34,000. Growing Smart in the Tri-County Region. The project will provide information and technical advice to local officials, developers and the public in Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties regarding land use decisions and their impact on the environment. The commission staff will conduct studies and analyses, hire a finance and planning expert to assist the staff, produce educational materials and present workshops.

* City of Washington, $25,000. Farm Creek Wetland Stormwater Detention Basin E. The funding will allow seeding of native grasses and wetland vegetation on a 19-acre stormwater detention basin and provide maintenance for the vegetation at the site near Washington.

Kankakee River Basin Partnership
Counties: Will, Kankakee, Iroquois, Vermilion and Ford
Primary contact: J.R. Black, 815/939-4971

* Northern Illinois Anglers, $50,000. Spring Creek Assessment and Flow Obstruction Removal. Members of the angler group will identify flow obstructions that are causing excessive creek bed and bank erosion on Spring Creek in Iroquois County. A plan will be prepared for removing and stabilizing each obstruction site along the creek, while landowner meetings will be conducted to get permission to complete the projects.

* City of Kankakee, $48,655. Bank Stabilization on North Branch of Soldier Creek. The eroding north branch of Soldier Creek in Kankakee will be reshaped and native vegetation will be planted to reduce erosion and protect the banks from future instability.

* Kankakee River Conservancy, $21,350. Bank Stabilization on Singleton Ditch. The eroding banks of Singleton Ditch near Momence in Kankakee County will be reshaped and native vegetation will be planted to reduce erosion and protect the banks from future instability.

* Iroquois County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $25,000. Flow Obstruction Removal on Iroquois River. Stream obstructions will be removed to correct excess erosion and flooding at a number of areas on the Iroquois River in Iroquois County. The project is part of the Kankakee River Basin Partnership's Stewardship Plan.

* Kankakee County SWCD, $3,000. Outdoor Classroom. The project will provide for creation of an outdoor classroom for Herscher School District science students. Native forbs, grasses and trees will be planted on the school grounds. Students will develop a map of the site for area residents to use to learn about native flora.

* Kankakee County SWCD, $2,000. Environmental Education. Funds will be used to purchase an Enviroscape, a scale-model kit that allows students to see the impact of land management practices on water quality.

* Northern Illinois Anglers, $60,000. Backwater Lake Development on Langan Creek. A backwater lake will be developed to reduce flooding on Langan Creek. A levee on the creek will be breached and a concrete flow control structure will be installed to allow the backwater area to be flooded and drained seasonally. The lake will provide wetland and open water habitats for fish and wildlife.

Kaskaskia River Partnership
Counties: Bond, Madison, St. Clair, Clinton, Washington, Marion and Jefferson.
Primary contact: Ed Weilbacher, 618/566-4451

* Dale Brockmann, $15,360. Resource Enhancement Project. Landowner Brockmann will convert a 6.5-acre portion of two crop fields near Venedy to renovate a wetland and to create a grassland and woodland habitat to improve habitat for wildlife in the neighboring woods.

* James McGuire, $48,000. Pocahontas Wetland Restoration. Landowner McGuire will restore a 12.0-acre degraded shallow water wetland near Pocahontas to its historical elevation. Funds will also be used to plant a 9.2-acre bottomland field in native hardwood trees, to improve a 2.0-acre portion of upland timber for enhanced wildlife habitat, and to install a wildlife observation platform.

* Southwestern Illinois Resource Conservation and Development Area, Inc., $55,000. Value-Added Products From The Forest - Timber Bridges. A timber bridge of up 24 feet in width and 40 feet in length will be installed at a site to be determined in Bond County to demonstrate a new use of locally grown, undervalued timber. The project will also solve a local community need for township and county bridge replacement.

Kishwaukee River Partnership
Counties: McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, DeKalb and Ogle
Local contact: Ders Anderson, 312/427-4256 ext. 237

* McHenry County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $15,360. SWCD 2000 Grant Program. Project will offer schools and youth groups within the Kishwaukee River watershed in McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, DeKalb and Ogle counties the opportunity to initiate conservation projects that foster environmental education.

*Boone County SWCD, $2,700. Developing Grass Roots Support for Watershed-Level Management. Funds will be used to increase public awareness and develop countywide support for the Kishwaukee River, Beaver Creek and Piscasaw Creek Watershed Plan through brochures, articles and public meetings.

* McHenry County Conservation District, $3,000. Kleompken Wetland Enhancement. The project will provide for replacing 10 acres of reed canary grass in the flood plain of the South Branch of the Kishwaukee River near Huntley with native wet prairie grasses.

* Cherry Valley Public Library District, $22,625. Woodland, Wetland and Prairie Conservation and Education Project. Non-native plants will be removed to restore and preserve a wetland in Cherry Valley.

* Conservation Research Institute, $20,000. Route 47 Master Plan. The project will complete an in-depth analysis of projected development, transportation and natural ecosystem assessments for the corridor along Illinois Route 47 between Huntley and Woodstock.

Lower Rock River Partnership
Counties: Lee, Whiteside, Rock Island, Henry, Bureau, Ogle and Carroll
Primary contact: Glen Kuhlemier, 815/626-5573

* Franklin Creek Preservation Area Committee, $18,000. Lower Rock River Watershed Ecologic Learning Center. Funds will be used to establish the Lower Rock River Watershed Learning Center for educational programs and tourist information. The center will be located in the Franklin Creek Grist Mill in Franklin Grove.

* Erie Middle School, $4,279.17. Environmental Outreach in Whiteside County. An existing environmental education program at Erie Middle School in Erie will be enhanced by expanding a groundwater education program, expanding a bluebird recovery and education program by using private and utility company property, and by establishing a high-quality prairie.

* Whiteside County Soil and Water Conservation District, $7,025. Warm Season Grass Harvester. Funds will be used to purchase a Woodward Flail Vac Seed Stripper to be used to harvest grass seed planted as cover on erodible land enrolled in the USDA Conservation Reserve Program throughout Whiteside County.

* Nachusa Grassland/The Nature Conservancy, $33,030. Wetland Restoration. The former wetland at the Nachusa Grassland Preserve near Dixon will be restored to provide habitat for birds and the rare Blandings turtle.

* Sterling Park District, $22,500. Site Survey of Sinnissippi Park. An engineering firm will be retained to conduct a site survey at Sinnissippi Park in Sterling. The survey will include a boundary survey, a topographic survey, and will provide information on the locations of above- and below-ground utilities, building locations and natural resource identification.

Lower Sangamon Valley Partnership Counties: Mason, Logan, Cass, Menard, Sangamon and Christian.
Primary contact: Terry Nichols, 217/632-4297

* Menard County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $9,000. Sangamon Native Grass Filter Strip Project. Project funds will supplement federal funds available to Menard County landowners establishing warm season grass plantings for filter strips on USDA Conservation Reserve Program acres.

* University of Illinois at Springfield, $27,903. Ecosystem Restoration and Education Project. The University will establish an ecosystems education program for kindergarten through 8th grade students in the Springfield area, focusing on ecosystem functions and ecosystem restoration.

* City of Springfield, $30,727. Reforestation at Riverside and Carpenter Parks. The project will restore 46 acres of forest at the Springfield's Carpenter and Riverside parks, both located on the Sangamon River. The project will also establish a wetland to treat runoff and a riverbank stabilization demonstration area using willow tree posts to hold soil in place.

* Heather Hendrix-Mital, $14,955. ECODAZE. The grant recipient will conduct a week-long environmental field education program for 5th through 8th grade students living within the Lower Sangamon Valley Partnership area. Students will participate in hands-on activities and field trips, canoe and float trips and water quality monitoring activities. The program will be based at Athens Middle School in Menard County.

Mackinaw River Partnership
Counties: Woodford, Tazewell, McLean, Mason, Livingston and Ford
Primary interim contact: Karen Sheets, 309/467-4662

* Woodford County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $25,000. Lake Eureka Park Restoration. The project will develop an accessible outdoor classroom in Eureka which will focus on improving woodlands, constructing wetlands, restoring prairies and the use of controlled burning in land management.

Prairie Parklands Partnership
Counties: Cook, Will and Grundy
Primary contact: Joyce O'Keefe, 312/427-4256

* Wetlands Initiative, $100,000. River Road Wetland Restoration. Project will restore 559 acres of wetland, replacing existing sedge meadow, wet prairie and mesic prairie at the 19,000-acre Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie near Wilmington. The project will demonstrate how to return land at the site to pre-settlement condition and to improve habitat for waterfowl and other birds.

* Prairie Parklands Macrosite Partnership, $7,000. Prairie Restoration. To continue a prairie restoration project near Joliet by planting native grasses. The project will also add a section on meadowlands to the Prairie Parklands educational booklet.

* University of Illinois Board of Trustees, $12,840. Education Materials About Biocontrol. The funding will provide an educational program on use of biocontrol agents for 25 middle and high school teachers in the Prairie Parklands region. Teachers will receive supplies for classroom, lab and field activities to use beetles to control invasive plants, based on the University of Illinois and Illinois Natural History Survey project using beetles to control purple loosestrife.

* Midewin Tallgrass Prairie Alliance, $7,000. Midewin Volunteer Recruitment Video. A videotape will be developed to generate interest among northeastern Illinois residents in volunteer opportunities at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie near Wilmington.

* Openlands Project, $10,500. Manhattan Creek Greenway. A greenway of water and open space in a 2.0-mile corridor near Manhattan will be developed to help protect the high quality fishery in Manhattan Creek.

Rock River Partnership
County: Ogle
Primary contact: Chuck Cawley, 815/384-3660

* Dan Sawicki, $2,408. Sawicki Wetland. Landowner Sawicki will restore a wetland and develop a sediment basin on a tributary to the Kyte River near Rochelle.

* Lee County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $7,690. Outdoor Stewardship Days. The project will continue a successful outdoor environmental education program known as Stewardship Week for 900 grade school students in Lee and Ogle counties.

Sinkhole Plain Area Partnership
Counties: St. Clair, Monroe and Randolph
Primary contact: Pam Jacobs, 618/939-3434

* Randolph County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $60,000. Karst Educator. The Karst Educator provides information about protecting water supplies, providing presentations and guidance to individuals living, working or regulating activities in the Sinkhole Plain area in southwest Illinois.

* Illinois State Museum Society, $7,289. Monitoring Use of Four Important Caves. The Museum Society will install data logging devices at several locations in the sinkhole caves of Monroe and St. Clair counties to determine the number of visitors and the use of different parts of the caves.

* Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $76,250. GIS Data Set Development For The Sinkhole Plain. The project will produce a comprehensive Global Information System (GIS) map of the Sinkhole Plain area for use in resource conservation planning.

* Anita Muertz, $13,159. Outdoor Classroom. A tract of the school yard at Valmeyer Community Unit School District #3 in Valmeyer will be converted into an outdoor classroom. Students will participate in research, planning and planting, working across curricula to help them meet science academic standards established by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Spoon River Partnership
Counties: Fulton, Warren, Know, Peoria, Stark, Marshall, Bureau, McDonough and Henry
Primary contact: David King, 309/833-4747

* Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $65,420. Spoon River Protection Program. The project will encourage landowners to participate in programs to limit soil erosion in the Spoon River watershed in Warren County.

* Warren County SWCD, $17,850. Picayune and Negro Creeks Streambank Projects. The project will identify and inventory streambank erosion and instability on the creeks.

Sugar-Pecatonica Rivers Partnership
Counties: Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Winnebago, Carroll and Ogle
Primary contact: Sue Merchant, 815/964-6666

* Ducks Unlimited, Inc., $95,000. Pecatonica Wetlands Enhancement. The organization will use grant funds to increase wetland habitat area and restore wetland, forest and prairie on crop land to benefit wildlife in Winnebago County near Pecatonica. The project also provides for bird watching areas and installation of a pedestrian path link to the Pecatonica Prairie Path.

* Natural Land Institute, $422,500. The Lesser Wetland Acquisition. The funding will allow the purchase of and protection for 688 acres of previously-drained wetland and associated natural areas, along with more than three miles of river frontage on the Pecatonica and Rock rivers and Raccoon Creek near Rockton.

* Stephenson Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $4,500. Reforestation Campaign. The SWCD will purchase a tree planter and encourage landowners to plant trees to reduce soil erosion throughout Stephenson County.

Thorn Creek Macrosite
Counties: Cook and Will
Primary contact: John Mendelson, 708/534-4487

* Cook County Forest Preserve District, $33,000. Thorn Creek Preserve Addition. The district will acquire a 9.0-acre parcel adjacent to the Thorn Creek Nature Preserve near Glenwood. The property is owned by the Union Pacific Railroad.

* Thorn Creek Management Commission, $16,460. Erosion Control and Streambank Stabilization Within Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve. The commission will install erosion controls, stabilize an intermittent stream channel, create and restore wetland habitat, use the site for educational demonstrations, and maintain and preserve rare plant species and protected plant communities.

* Governors State University, $5,900. Pilot Study of Stream Flow in Plum Creek. The study will focus on seasonal water flows and storm event water flows in Plum Creek and its tributaries in northeast Will County and southeast Cook County, in conjunction with RiverWatch stream monitoring.

* Governors State University, $18,092. Delineating and Classifying Wetlands. The project will use three databases (U.S. Geological Survey soil classification maps, digital contour maps and 1830s land survey records and notes) to delineate and classify pre-settlement wetlands in the Will County portions of the Thorn Creek Macrosite.

Upper Des Plaines River Partnership
Counties: Lake, DuPage and Cook
Primary contact: Michael Sands, 847/548-4062

* Lake County Forest Preserve District, $75,000. Rollins Savanna Riparian Wetland Restoration. The project will provide for planting native grasses after reed canary grass along Mill Creek near Grayslake is controlled using herbicides and controlled burns.

* Rivershire Community Property Association, $26,027. Pond Bank Stabilization at Rivershire Community. The proposed bank stabilization is designed to reduce pollution flows into two connected ponds in the Rivershire community of Lincolnshire. The stabilization will reduce erosion and sedimentation of the ponds and outflow into the Des Plaines River.

* Loch Lomand Property Owners Association, $12,250. Lock Lomand Water Quality and Habitat Restoration. Native plant species will be used to enhance habitat and improve watershed quality in the Loch Lomand neighborhood near Mundelein.

Upper DuPage River Partnership
Counties: Will, DuPage, Cook and Kane
Primary contact: Brook McDonald, 630/428-4500

* The Conservation Foundation, $25,000. Dam Removal/Modification Feasibility Study for East and West Branches of the DuPage River. Historical records will be reviewed as part of a survey of aquatic plants, sediment and dams to prepare for public meetings on the issue of removing dams on the DuPage River in DuPage County.

* Openlands Project, $6,000. East Branch DuPage River Greenway Improvements. The project will restore and open 3.8 miles of the lower East Branch of the DuPage River to non-motorized boating and fishing between the DuPage Greenway in Bolingbrook and the DuPage River Park in Naperville.

* The Conservation Foundation, $75,000. Johnson School/Round Grove Park Wetland Restoration. Restoration of 8.0 acres of wetland, 1.0 acre of prairie buffer and the stabilization of 1,440 feet of streambank in Round Grove Park in DuPage County. The project also provides an outdoor wetland education lab for students at Johnson School in Warrenville.

* Village of Carol Stream, $25,000. Klein Creek and Thunderbird Creek Streambank Restoration Project. Funds will be used to prepare and distribute educational brochures and pamphlets to the public on methods of maintaining native vegetation used for erosion control in Carol Stream. The brochures will stress the importance of using native plants to protect the streams.

* Downers Grove Park District, $24,250. Lacey Creek Wetland Restoration Project. Approximately 6.0 acres of invasive reed canary grass surrounding a 12.0-acre pond in Downers Grove will be replaced with native wetland vegetation.

Upper Kaskaskia River Partnership
Counties: Champaign, Piatt, Macon, Shelby, Moultrie, Coles and Douglas
Primary contact: Steve Jurgens, 217/728-4212

* Moultrie County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $40,000. Water Quality Inventive Based No-Till Program. The SWCD will educate Moultrie County landowners on the advantages of using the no-till drill and planter method of crop seeding. Increased use of no-till farm practices could result in decreased soil loss, less pesticides and sediment runoff and improved water quality.

* Earth Partners, $20,950. Hands-on Environmental In-Service Training for K-12 Educators. A four-day workshop for teachers will provide hands-on experience at local watershed sites. Teachers will receive intensive training from science and environmental educators. Environmental resource kits will be developed and provided to teachers.

Vermilion River Partnership
Counties: Vermilion and Iroquois
Primary contact: Kevin Green, 217/354-4030

* Vermilion County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $2,470. Conservation Education Equipment. Grant funds will be used to purchase equipment such as binoculars and fishing rods and reels for use in environmental education and urban fishing programs in Vermilion County.

* Vermilion County SWCD, $67,000. Boardwalk for Wetland Education. A boardwalk trail system and parking lot will be constructed along West Newall Road near Danville to allow access to the wetland education site.

* Vermilion County SWCD, $30,000. Install 1,000 Acres of Native Grass Habitat. The SWCD will work with landowners interested in planting native grasses, with a goal of planting 1,000 acres throughout Vermilion County.

* Vermilion County SWCD, $8,000. Dedicated Program to Promote and Improve Wetland Habitat on Conservation Reserve Program Land. Grant funds will be used to provide a scholarship for an intern providing 500 hours of labor as a U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service Earth Team assistant/intern. The intern will promote projects that improve wetland habitat on land enrolled in the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP).

* Vermilion County SWCD, $3,175. Prescribed Prairie Burn Training. The funds will be used to provide a four-day training course focusing on basic firefighter skills and an introduction to fire behavior in controlled burn situations. Certificates will be presented to those completing the training.

Vermilion Watershed Task Force Partnership
Counties: LaSalle, Livingston, Woodford, Marshall, McLean, Ford and Iroquois
Primary contact: Bob Lawless, 815/844-7185

* Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), $21,150. NH3 Variable Rate Application Study. The project will study and promote the use of the most current variable rate nitrogen technology to optimize the amount of nitrogen fertilizer applied by farmers in the region. Reducing the amount of nitrogen applied should reduce nitrogen leachate entering the Vermilion River.

* Livingston County SWCD, $4,400. Earth Express Mobile Classroom. The Earth Express mobile classroom will allow taking interactive watershed displays and lessons to elementary and middle schools. Students will be allowed to keep resource learning kits containing videos, CD-ROMs, books and other materials to enhance their watershed learning experience.

* Livingston County SWCD, $3,150. Tree Planter. Grant funds will be used to buy a tree planter to use in establishing trees and shrubs in riparian buffers, windbreaks and as a component of wildlife habitat improvement projects on Conservation Reserve Program acres throughout Livingston County.

* Livingston County SWCD, $782. Presentation Slide Projector. A Kodak 5600 slide projector will be acquired to present information on habitat management, tree and shrub planting, prescribed burning, wetland development and other land management practices to public and private groups throughout Livingston County.

* Livingston County SWCD, $7,593. Direct Tree Seeder and Seed. A tree seeder will be purchased and used to establish riparian forest buffers and other forest habitat on acreage enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program in Livingston County. The trees will also provide winter cover for songbirds, game birds and other wildlife.


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