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April 27, 2001

Ryan Announces $100,000 Grant for Streambank Restoration Projects in Four Counties

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced a $100,000 grant to Trees Forever a non-profit organization to plant trees, shrubs and grasses along streams, as well as stabilize streambanks, enhance stream channels with natural materials, and create constructed wetlands in Kane, Kendall, Tazewell and Logan County watersheds.

"Illinois has some of the most beautiful natural settings in the country, and we are providing the resources to ensure that they are around for future generations to enjoy," said Governor Ryan. "These efforts will make a big difference in the water quality of the local communities and all across Illinois."

The Trees Forever group will work with the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices, a coalition of agribusiness and agricultural groups. In cooperation with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Department of Agriculture and other state, county and local partners, they will work as the Illinois Buffer Partnership to develop at least two demonstration sites in the watersheds of Blackberry Creek in Kane and Kendall counties, Farm Creek in Tazewell County, and Kickapoo Creek in Logan County.

Emphasis for the demonstration sites will also be placed on informational and promotional programs highlighting the importance of vegetative stream corridors, the benefits of restoring stream banks, and enlisting ongoing support from local governments, developers, farmers and land owners.

Streambank stabilization protects water quality and improves habitat for aquatic life by reducing erosion. Wetlands provide flood control as well as water quality improvement by providing filtration of floodwaters. At least two demonstration plots will be created in each of the targeted watersheds, and at least one field day is to be conducted at six of the demonstration sites during the two years of the agreement.

Funding for the Illinois Buffer Partnership comes from federal money made available under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act. The funding is channeled through the Illinois Environmental Protection agency.


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