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April 20, 2001

Governor Ryan Marks Earth Day With Grants to Clean Environment, Buy Open Land

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today released grants to promote recycling, acquire land for public use, rehabilitate lagoons, improve boat access facilities and develop computerized models of land-use changes for a Fox River tributary.

"As we celebrate another Earth Day, Illinois will continue to promote conservation, implement policies that responsibly maintain and improve the environment and provide opportunities to our citizens to get out and enjoy the natural resources that our state offers," said Governor Ryan.

The Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA), the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are all participating in making these Earth Day grant announcements.

  • $10 million has been released to the Illinois EPA for fiscal year 2001 under the ongoing Illinois FIRST program to eliminate environmental risks from some of the state's most poorly managed and contaminated landfills. The Illinois EPA had previously identified 33 landfills, located in 21 counties across Illinois, as threats to public health and to adjacent properties. Priority was given to landfills with the greatest environmental and safety risks. The landfills presented active nuisances due to erosion of sides and cover, exposed refuse and contamination threats to groundwater and surface water. A total of $50 million in Illinois FIRST funds, over five years, was authorized in the 1999 spring legislative session to address these problem sites. The fiscal year 2001 funding represents the second $10 million installment in the program.

  • $9.7 million in grants to 13 local agencies for acquisition of 1,167 acres of open space and natural areas as part of his Open Land Trust program. These grants will provide protection to watersheds, greenways, wildlife habitat and recreational lands, preserving irreplaceable open space for future generations to enjoy. Eight of the grants will fund land acquisition adjacent to significant rivers, stream, creeks or greenways, while six of the acquisitions will help restore or enhance wetlands. Three of the grants to help purchase land under intense development pressure, while four of the acquisition sites will provide protection for endangered or threatened species.

  • $725,000 in grants to assist five local communities in improving boat and canoe access facilities. The grants, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, are awarded on a competitive basis.

  • $2.5 million in state funds to the Chicago Park District to restore the lagoon at Jackson Park. The restoration project focuses on maintaining the original design intent of the park district's historical lagoons, while adapting these designs to incorporate the needs of current park users and restoring balance to the ecology of the lagoons. At Jackson Park lagoon, several historic islands will be restored, additional native plants will supplement existing bird habitat, a pier and boardwalk will be built, stone access pads will be added for pond viewing and fishing and portions of the lagoon will be deepened to improve fish habitat. Aerating fountains will be added to the Columbian Basin, walkways and lighting fixtures will be replaced and the area will receive new landscaping, including trees, shrubs and perennials. These funds are part of $10 million project to restore lagoons and natural communities within 24 Chicago Park District parks.

  • $260,000 grant to Kane County for a pilot project to demonstrate how potential land-use changes can impact the Blackberry Creek Watershed, a tributary of the Fox River, and the people who live there. The project will use computerized water quality, distribution and movement data, as well as habitat information to develop a variety of scenarios outlining impacts on land and water in the watershed. The project will evaluate the anticipated impact of wetland and stream buffers, conservation subdivision and commercial designs and conservation agriculture on water quality, flood flows and wildlife habitat.

  • $1,027,000 in grants to help Illinois communities, businesses and organizations expand or establish recycling programs. The grants provide capital needed to improve and expand recycling services to Illinois consumers. Administered by the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs (DCCA), the grants will fund 26 projects, including residential recycling projects such as local curbside and multi-family collection programs, commercial programs for business, health care, educational facilities and primary processing facilities.

  • $77,000 in grants have been awarded to help schools in communities throughout the state with recycling programs and activities during the 2001-2002 school year.The grants, awarded through the Illinois School Recycling and Waste Reduction Program, are administered by the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs Bureau of Energy and Recycling. Approximately 24,000 students are expected to take part in activities funded through the grants. Recipient schools will utilize the funds to purchase containers to collect and store recyclable materials, undertake source reduction activities, and obtain curriculum materials and other educational resources to teach about the 3Rs -- Reduce, Re-use and Recycle.

  • A new resource guide "Greening Illinois Governmental Operations" is now available to assist state agencies in reducing waste and improving environmental efficiency. The guide is one of the outcomes of the Green Illinois Initiative executive order Ryan issued last May. It highlights management tools as well as specific improvement measures that can help state government contribute to a cleaner and safer environment. The program encourages state agencies to form "green teams" to prevent pollution and encourage recycling in state government and provide tips on how to have an energy efficient building.

  • Governor Ryan launched an "Illinois Tomorrow" web site, intended to be a one-stop shopping site for communities to obtain information about balanced growth issues and information. Illinois Tomorrow is a balanced growth initiative that is a voluntary, incentive-based approach to planning and growth, which focuses on state programs that invest in existing communities by improving job opportunities, infrastructure and quality of life for residents of these communities. The initiative focuses on state assistance for local projects and partnerships with local governments. Illinois Tomorrow is based on five core balanced growth principles: -Reduced Traffic Congestion -Preservation of Open Space -Reinvestment and Redevelopment -Quality of Life -Local Government Partnership.

FY 2001 Boat Access Development Program Grants

Village of Albany (Whiteside County), $135,900, to construct an additional two-lane launch ramp, a courtesy dock and an additional parking area at the village's boat access area on the Mississippi River between Second Avenue North and Second Avenue South. (Local contact: Janet Price, 309/887-4064).

Cook County Forest Preserve District (Cook County), $50,000, to develop a canoe access facility on the Des Plaines River at Irving Park and Des Plaines River Roads in the Village of Schiller Park in north central Cook County. The improvement will include a paved access path from the existing parking lot to the river's edge, shoreline stabilization, site landscaping and signs. (Local contact: Dan White, 708/771-1358).

Hall Township(Bureau County), $167,300 to install approximately 300 linear feet of courtesy docks, connecting walkways and sidewalks, benches and shoreline protection at the township's boat access area on the Illinois River near Ill. Rt. 89. (Local contact: William Shafer, 815/433-2080).

Tazewell County, $200,000, to develop a new boat access area on the east side of the Illinois River in Springlake Township. Development of the site will include a two-lane launch ramp, a courtesy dock, a parking area and a concrete walkway from the parking area to the dock. (Local contact: Dale Claus, 309/477-2274).

Village of Worth (Cook County), $171,800, to enlarge the parking lot and to construct a restroom building at the villages boat launch/marina on the Calumet Sag Channel between Ill. Rt. 43 and Ridgeland Avenue. (Local contact: Wayne Demonbreun, 708/448-4216).

FY 2001 Open Land Trust Program Grants

City of Chicago (Cook County), $801,500, to acquire a 1.62-acre site along the North Branch of the Chicago River at the intersection of Division Street and Elston Avenue. The site will be developed as a river wildlife habitat environment. Future development will include the removal of existing structures, stabilization of the riverbank, habitat restoration, an interpretive trail and a fishing area. (Local contact: Kathleen Dickhut, 312/744-1074)

Chicago Park District (Cook County), $87,500, to acquire 1.9 acres along the Little Calumet River at Eggleston and 129th Street in Chicago. The site will be the District's first park along the Little Calumet. Future development plans include a wildlife viewing/photography area, river access with fishing opportunities, a picnic area, walking paths and a connection to the Conrail Trail. (Local contact: Andrea Adams, 312/745-2155)

Cook County Forest Preserve District (Cook County), $937,500, to acquire 115 acres of contiguous, undeveloped open space along Thorn Creek in southeastern Cook County. The property is located south of River Roads Drive and north of the Tri-State Tollway. The acquisition of these Thorn Creek Greenway parcels will protect remnant high quality native plant communities and wildlife habitat, preserve significant archaeological resources and provide passive outdoor recreation and education opportunities to the public. Future development will include an interpretive trail system and parking area at the north end of the site. (Local contact: Dave Kircher, 708/771-1172)

Elsah Township (Jersey County), $202,500, to acquire a 191-acre parcel along Piasa Creek in southeast Jersey County. The site is in the lower end of the Piasa Creek Watershed and has a tributary on a portion of the property. The property will provide passive recreation opportunities. (Local contact: Wayne Freeman, 618/467-2365)

Village of Glen Carbon (Madison County), $425,500, to acquire 92 acres east of Ill. Rt. 159 adjacent to the village's Heritage Bike Trail. Future development of the site will include prairie restoration, walking paths, picnic areas, restrooms and a parking area. (Local contact: Mayor Ronald J. Foster, 618/288-1200)

Kane County Forest Preserve District (Kane County), $515,500, to acquire 268 acres in northwest Kane County. The site is adjacent to the 443-acre Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve, a dedicated Illinois Nature Preserve. The District will restore both prairie and wetland areas, remove non-native plants and develop interpretive and equestrian trails. (Local contact: Jon Duerr, 630/232-5980)

Lake County Forest Preserve District (Lake County), $1,204,500, to acquire a 55-acre addition to the 521-acre Middle Fork Savanna Forest Preserve. The site is east of Interstate 94 and south of Ill. Rt. 176. The management plan for the site includes wetland and prairie/savanna restoration compatible with the restoration activities at the existing preserve. (Local contact: Thomas Hahn, 847/968-3338)

Village of Orland Park (Cook County), $2,000,000, to acquire a historic 89-acre farmstead on 108th Avenue north of 179th Street. The site contains a portion of the Marley Creek Watershed, a regional greenway. Future development at the site will include a trail system around restored prairie areas. (Local contact: Rick Boehm, 708/403-6155)

Plainfield Township Park District (Will County), $1,081,100, to acquire a 63-acre site just west of the DuPage River and north of Renwick Road in Plainfield. Much of the site is heavily forested and contains a portion of Springhole Creek. Future development will include walking trails with interpretive signs, a picnic area, shelter with washrooms and parking. (Local contact: John Vann, 815/436-8812)

Rockton Township (Winnebago County), $144,000, to acquire 15.3 acres on Rockton Road adjacent to the 690-acre Carl and Myrna Nygren Wetland Preserve. The site will provide access to the wetland preserve. Future development will include an entrance road, parking area, a nature trail system and observation platform. (Local contact: Jack R. Cook, 815/624-7788)

Village of South Barrington (Cook County), $2,000,000, to acquire 70 acres of the Klehm Nursery property near Penny and Sutton Roads in Barrington Township. The site will preserve valuable wetland habitat and will protect Spring Creek, one of the highest quality streams in Cook County. It also provides a connection between Spring Lake Preserve and Crabtree Nature Center. Future development will include a trail system for wildlife observation and nature education. (Local contact: David L. Pierce, 847/381-7510)

St. Clair County, $224,000, to acquire 146.76 acres three miles southwest of Mascoutah at Brickyard and Groedeon Roads. The property is adjacent to Silver Creek and a 98-acre site acquired recently by the county. Future development plans include habitat restoration, an interpretive kiosk, a loop hiking trail with boardwalks and parking. (Local contact: Mike Mitchell, 618/277-6600)

Forest Preserve District of Will County (Will County), $104,200, to acquire a 58.23-acre site along the Interstate 55 frontage road south of Interstate 80. The site contains several diverse types of wetlands suitable for restoration and enhancement. The property will provide passive recreation opportunities such as nature observation and study. (Local contact: Timothy W. Good, 815/727-8700)


2001-2002 RECIPIENTS

School District

City (County)

Grant Awarded

Batavia Unit School District #101

Batavia (Kane)


Queen of Peace School

Belleville (St. Clair)


Brookfield School District #95

Brookfield (Cook)


Thornton Fractional High School District #215

Calumet City(Cook)


Carlyle Community Unit #1

Carlyle (Clinton)


Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School

Chicago (Cook)


Cicero School District #99

Cicero (Cook)


Colona School District #190

Colona (Henry)


Diocese of Belleville

Columbia (Monroe)


Evergreen Park Community High School District #231

Evergreen Park (Cook)


Prairie Central Commuinty Unit School District #8

Forrest (Livingston)


Costa Catholic School

Galesburg (Knox)


Havana Community Unit School District #126

Havana (Mason)


Tri-Point Community Unit School District #6-J

Kempton (Ford)


Bremen Community High School District #228

Midlothian (Cook)


Morton Unit School District #709

Morton (Tazewell)


New Lenox School District #122

New Lenox (Will)


McLean County Unit District #5

Normal (McLean)


St. Gerald Parish for St. Gerald School

Oak Lawn (Cook)


Fenwick High School

Oak Park (Cook)


St. Edmund School

Oak Park (Cook)


Cons. High School District #230

Orland Park (Cook)


Oregon Community Unit School District #220

Oregon (Ogle)


Oswego Community School District #308

Oswego (Kendall)


Elim Christian School

Palos Heights (Cook)


PORTA Community Unit School District #202

Petersburg (Menard)


Nippersink School District #2

Richmond (McHenry)


Steger School District #2

Steger (Cook/Will)


St. Mary School

Sycamore (DeKalb)


Yorkville Community Unit School District #115

Yorkville (Kendall)




Green Environmental Management (GEM)
Award - $50,000
Commercial Expansion

Decatur Recycle Paper Co.
Award - $100,000
Commercial Expansion

Jackson County Health Dept.
Award - $10,400
Expansion - new drop off site

Wayne County
Award - $23,400
Expansion - new material and drop off sites

Rockford Park District
Award - $50,000
Government Expansion

Village of Mineral
Award - $13,885
New Program

Eastern Illinois Community Colleges
Award - $41,808
Expansion to campuses not served

Marshall County
Award - $32,980
Expansion of material collected

Kendall County Solid Waste Department
Award - $10,971
Governmental Expansion

Peoria County Solid Waste Management
Award - $6,583
New mobile rural program

Ripped To Shreds, Inc.
Award - $50,000
New document destruction/recycling program

Award - $49,300
New off campus facility

Eastern Illinois University Board of Trustees
Award - $9,528
Expansion recycling program

Village of Ford Heights
Award - $43,379
New residential and commercial program

G.W. Recycling, Inc.
Award - $100,000
Commercial expansion of collection and processing

McHenry County Defenders
Award - $4,523
Expansion of collection to special events

Gen-Cycle Services, Inc.
Award - $49,000
Commercial expansion to new clients

Award - $24,915
Expansion to new buildings

Village of Oak Park
Award - $22,480
Expansion to new public buildings and parks

Stephenson County Solid Waste
Award - $21,250
New moble drop off sites for rural areas

Clay County Rehabilitation Center, Inc.
Award - $50,000
Expansion of materials

Pioneer Center of McHenry
Award - $22,141
Expansion to new buildings

Forest Preserve District of Cook County
Award - $41,518
Expansion into picnic areas

Burris Disposal Service
Award - $50,000
Expansion of curbside program

I. Erlichman Co., Inc.
Award - $100,000
Expansion of coommercial program

WE Care Recycling
Award - $49,500
Expansion of drop off sites, new materials


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