Illinois Governor announces $1.9 million in projects for local
conservation grants - Funds to be distributed across state
(Note: A very Meeeerrrry Christmas, Illinois taxpayers! Guess who
gets to fund all these grants? Did you guess, "I do?" Surely
you don't think that this 'grant money' is coming out of thin air!
If so, you get a heaping portion of new taxes! Just reading the red
highlighted areas of this 'press release' with an eye to the FACT
that not one acre is being 'restored' for your children, or their
children. Nope, 'natural communties' and 'pre-settlement condition
means NO PEOPLE. This is also known as The Wildlands Project, and
an overlay of the TWP map for Illinois will quickly prove that these
areas are the mosaicing of TWP in Illinois. Don't feel alone - such
land/water/control schemes are hatching all over the country. Tis
time to NETWORK!) - Comment from Julie Kay Smithson, www.propertyrights.org)
December 16, 2003
For Immediate Release
Springfield, Illinois - Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced
more than $1.9 million in grants to local units of government, education,
environmental and conservation organizations [you don't get
to vote for these] through the Conservation 2000 (C2000) Ecosystems
The grants, awarded through 26 Ecosystem Partnerships located in all
parts of the state, will be used to help restore
more than 4,800 acres of forest, prairie and wetland habitat
and acquire interest in more than 230 acres
of land for conservation purposes. In addition, the grants
will enable more than 13,000 students to participate
in educational programs and projects focusing on the benefits of habitat
restoration and protection.
"From restoring prairie grasses and stabilizing streambanks to
developing educational programs that benefit thousands of students,
the projects supported by these grants will have long
term benefits for the wildlife, plants and watershed resources
in all parts of Illinois, the Governor said. The C2000 grant program
helps local citizens and organizations improve
environmental quality and the quality of life in their communities.
The C2000 Ecosystems Program coordinates the interests and participation
of local communities, landowners, businesses, scientists, environmental
organizations, outdoor recreation enthusiasts, and policy makers to
enhance and protect watersheds through ecosystem-based
management. At the heart of the program are Ecosystem
Partnerships, coalitions of local citizens who share a common
interest in the natural resources of their communities.
There are a total 39 partnerships in watersheds that account for 82
percent of the states land area.
Over the span of the program, the C2000 Ecosystems Program has awarded
more than $28.7 million in grants, leveraging an additional $31.5
million in local matching funds and in-kind contributions for a total
of $60.2 million for more than 700 projects throughout the state.
The program has assisted in restoring more
than 62,000 acres of habitat, while more than 6,200 acres have
been acquired or placed in conservation easements
to provide long term protection.
Education programs regarding habitat
enhancement have included participation
by more than 400,000 citizens and school children.
For more information on the C2000 Ecosystems Program, contact the
Illinois Department of Natural Resources, One Natural Resources Way,
Springfield, IL 62702-1271, phone 217-782-7940, http://dnr.state.il.us/orep/c2000/ecosystem.
A list of Conservation 2000 Ecosystems Program grants and project
descriptions is below.
CONSERVATION 2000 ECOSYSTEMS PROGRAM GRANTS
Carlyle Lake Partnership
Counties: Montgomery, Bond, Marion, Clinton, Fayette, Effingham, Christian
Contact: John Phillips, 618-283-1095 ext. 3
Ballard Nature Center, Altamont, $28,200. Natural Communities
Restoration at Ballard Nature Center. This project will restore
the natural communities at the Ballard Nature Center, including
upland forests, riparian corridors, prairies, savannas, mesic floodplain
forests, and shallow water wetlands. The work will include
exotic species control, woody encroachment control, reintroduction
of prescribed fire and increasing species diversity.
Chicago Wilderness Partnership
Counties: McHenry, DuPage, Cook, Will and Lake
Primary Contact: Rebecca Blazer, 312-346-2540 ext. 2137
Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, $68,718.12. Northeastern
Illinois Natural Resources Outreach and Technical Assistance. This
project will provide assistance to Chicago Wilderness and the 10 other
Ecosystem Partnerships in northeastern Illinois, principally in the
form of technical assistance and outreach to local governments. It
will address issues related to the impacts of
development and redevelopment on land and water resources,
continuing an ongoing C2000 project.
Driftless Area Partnership
Counties: Jo Daviess and Carroll
Primary Contact: Rich Mattas, 815-777-2688
The Prairie Enthusiasts, $140,045. Roberts Restoration Project.
The Prairie Enthusiasts (TPE) will acquire fee
simple title to 45 acres, which they will restore to tall grass
prairie. Following restoration an easement on
the land will be donated to Natural Land Institute. The property
is adjacent to TPE's Hanley Savanna and within the area of concern
for the ongoing Hanover Bluffs Restoration Project. This
acquisition will further establish a natural corridor connecting
Lost Mound National Wildlife Refuge with Hanover Bluffs.
DuPage River Coalition Partnership
Counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will
Primary Contact: Dan Lobbes, 630-428-4500 ext. 55
The Conservation Foundation, $26,520. Lake Renwick East
Habitat Restoration. The goal of the eight-acre project is to
complete the restoration of a wetland/prairie complex to serve as
foraging and breeding habitat for the state endangered Black-crowned
Night Heron, recently de-listed Great Egret, Pied-Billed Grebe, Little
Blue Heron, and Snowy Egret, as well as other wildlife with similar
Fox River Partnership
Counties: McHenry, Lake, Kane, Kendall, DuPage, LaSalle and Cook
Primary Contact: Becky Hoag, 630-482-9157
Kane County Forest Preserve District, $50,000. Nelson
Lake Marsh - Restoration & Education. Funds will be utilized
to complete a 20-acre wetland/fen enhancement at Nelson Lake, a 1,000-acre
dedicated nature preserve. The project will include specialized contractors,
equipment for tree removal, nonnative species removal, continuing
seed harvesting by students and volunteers, planting and removal of
buckthorn from under the oak trees. Interpretive signs will also be
Counties: Ford, Champaign and Douglas
Primary Contact: Leon Wendte, 217-352-3536
Urbana Park District, $49,986. Judge Weber Park Wet Prairie
Restoration. Urbana Park District will restore
22 acres of critical wet prairie on existing floodplain soils
of the Saline Branch. The project will create
habitat for waterfowl and other wildlife, absorb urban storm
water runoff, and filter and recharge groundwater in northeast Urbana.
The area will be used for conservation and
Heart of the Sangamon Partnership
Counties: DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt.
Primary Contact: Paul Marien, 217-423-7708
Illinois Audubon Society, $316,855. Conservation of Jasmine
Hollow Natural Area, Piatt County. This project will conserve about
139 acres of forest and riparian habitat along the Sangamon River
at Jasmine Hollow Natural Area. The conservation
easement, through an Illinois Land and Water Reserve, will
protect the land from adverse uses including
development, clear-cutting and conversion to
other land uses.
Illinois River Bluffs Partnership
Counties: Bureau, Fulton, Knox, LaSalle, Lee, Marshall, Peoria, Putnam,
Stark, Tazewell and Woodford
Primary Contact: David Meisenheimer, 815-875-8732
Fondulac Park District, $57,372.60. Spring Creek Forest Restoration
and Student-Based Monitoring. Two hundred acres
of forested bluff owned by Fondulac Park District will
undergo ecological restoration to improve ground cover and
prevent erosion of sediment into Spring Creek.
Students from local high schools and colleges will conduct geological
and biological monitoring on the study area and all data will be digitized
Peoria Park District, $102,000. Singing Woods Ecological Restoration
Project. The Peoria Park District will implement an
ecological restoration project resulting in stabilization of
bluff erosion and enhancement of populations
of rare native plant and animal species and their associated habitats.
This project builds upon successful best management practices to address
the unique ecological problems that occur
at Singing Woods.
Kankakee River Partnership
Counties: Ford, Iroquois, Kankakee, Vermilion and Will
Primary Contact: J.R. Black, 815-932-8341
Beecher High School, $70,000. Beecher Trim Creek Bank Stabilization-Conservation
Education Project. Beecher High School, the Village of Beecher, and
the Washington Township Drainage Commission will work to provide streambank
stabilization of Trim Creek from Penfield Street to Miller Street
using native Illinois plants and best management practices in maintaining
the stream corridor.
Kishwaukee River Partnership
Counties: McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, DeKalb and Ogle
Primary Contact: Nathan Hill, 815-544-1576
McHenry County Conservation Foundation, $56,028. Pleasant
Grove Savanna and Prairie Restoration. This
project will provide funding to restore 70 acres of lowland
prairie, sedge meadow, dry gravel hill prairie, and oak savanna along
the southern and eastern portions of MCCD's Pleasant Valley Conservation
Area. Directly adjacent to an Illinois
Natural Areas Inventory site, this project will
expand upon extensive restoration work completed during the last 10
LaMoine River Partnership
Counties: Adams, Brown, Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, McDonough, Schuyler
Primary Contact: Martha Sheppard, 217-285-4114
Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District, $5,260.
Tree Planter for Reforestation of Hancock County. The Hancock County
SWCD will purchase a tree planter to reduce soil erosion and improve
water quality. Many acres of the LaMoine River watershed have
been enrolled in tree planting programs and a tree planter will ensure
that the trees are planted in a timely manner.
Hancock County Soil and Water Conservation District, $31,895.
Tom Hosack Permanent Watershed Protection Easement. The Hancock County
SWCD will place 50 acres of bottomland forest
and associated uplands in permanent easement. The addition
of this property will link several hundred
acres of permanent easement Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program
and Conservation Reserve Program acres together to create an unbroken
Lower Des Plaines Partnership
Counties: Cook, DuPage and Will
Primary contact: Gary Mechanic, 773-267-0146
Corporation for Open Lands, $25,000.
Bartel Grassland Restoration Planting.
In cooperation with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers, National Audubon Society and Northeastern
Illinois University, CorLands will purchase and install
native grasses and forbs. Prairie restoration
will occur at the 375-acre Bartel Grassland, an Illinois
Natural Areas Inventory site.
Lower Rock River Partnership
Counties: Lee, Whiteside, Rock Island, Henry, Bureau, Ogle and Carroll
Primary Contact: Don Swensson, 309-762-5417
Lee County Soil and Water Conservation District, $10,500.
Ryan Wetland and Sand Prairie Restoration.
The Ryan Wetland and Sand Prairie, owned by the Lee County SWCD, provides
critical habitat for state-listed and
other area-sensitive species. The site
is degraded by invasive tree and brush growth. This project will restore
rare prairie and wetland resources by invasive species removal, seed
harvesting and prescribed burning.
Lower Sangamon Valley Partnership
Counties: Cass, Christian, Logan, McLean, Macon, Macoupin, Mason,
Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Sangamon, Shelby and Tazewell
Primary Contact: Eric Golden, 217-632-7590 ext. 3
Friends of the Sangamon Valley, $31,050. Reforestation of
Gurgen Park, Springfield. Friends of the Sangamon Valley will restore
55 acres of old floodplain fields in Gurgen Park, providing
a connection to adjacent forested lands. Bur Oak, Black
Walnut, Kentucky Coffee Tree and other hardwood species will be utilized
to complete the restoration.
Menard County Soil and Water Conservation District, $28,375.
Clary-Little Grove Creek Hill Prairie Restoration.
This project will restore 25 acres of degraded
hill prairie within the larger Clary Creek watershed and to ensure
continued prosperity of the populations of three state listed endangered
species. The project requires the removal of encroaching woody
vegetation and the planting of suitable seed on approximately 25 acres
to help ensure the survival of these rare communities.
Menard County Soil and Water Conservation District, $9,000.
Baugher Savanna Restoration. This project
will re-create a 15-acre savanna [if it was ever really
there in the first place] through the removal of selected sub-canopy
and undesirable woody species and prescribed burning. Many savanna
indicators are present on site such as large open grown trees
and a diverse herbaceous ground cover of prairie species.
Mackinaw River Partnership
Counties: Ford, Livingston, McLean, Mason, Tazewell and Woodford
Primary Contact: Mary Jo Adams, 309-438-5955
The Nature Conservancy, $274,525.
Ecological and Economic Benefits of Conservation Based BMPs in the
Mackinaw River Watershed. The Nature Conservancy
will implement conservation-based best management practices and other
innovative practices on a 272-acre farm in the Mackinaw River watershed
to reduce nutrient exports into adjacent
aquatic ecosystems. Data collected over two-and-a-half years will
be used to demonstrate economic and ecological benefits of these land
management practices to farmers and landowners [wonder if anyone asked
the farmers if they wanted TNC to 'demonstrate' to them - and also
wonder if TNC ever let farmers 'demonstrate' to THEM].
Mississippi Western Five Partnership
Counties: Henderson, Henry, Knox, Mercer and Warren
Primary Contact: Robert Yarde, 309-482-6100
Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District, $8,626.
Streambank Inventory on Cedar Creek. This project will identify streambank
erosion and instability along Cedar Creek within the Mississippi Western
Five watershed. GIS and GPS will be used to locate and measure eroding
banks in cropland and pastureland along Cedar Creek. A summary report
and maps with locations identified will be part of the finished product.
Rock River Partnership
Primary Contact: Robert Vogl, 815-732-7332
Byron Forest Preserve District, $62,121. Invasive Woody Vegetation
Removal in the Rock River Partnership. Funds will be used for mechanical
removal of exotic and native woody vegetation [removal of NATIVE vegetation,
too? but, it's NATIVE!] in natural areas throughout the Rock River
Partnership. They will also help to restore
the native landscape of prairies, wetlands and oak savannas,
and to develop healthier natural communities.
Shawnee Ecosystem Partnership
Counties: Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope and Saline
Primary Contact: Grover Webb, 618-683-2651
Pope-Hardin Soil and Water Conservation District, $89,716.
Riparian Buffer Incentive Program. The
Pope-Hardin SWCD will identify landowners and
provide them with information and financial assistance to establish
and protect riparian forest buffers at
least 100 feet wide along seasonal and perennial streams
['seasonal' means 'intermittent,' which means that said 'seasonal
streams may be bone-dry for months at a time -- and the 100-foot-wide
'buffers' are on EACH SIDE of these streams, including the INTERMITTENT
ONES] to improve water quality, bank
stability, recreational opportunities,
and fish and wildlife habitat.
Southern Illinois University, $29,935.80. Oak Ecosystem Restoration
and Maintenance in Southern Illinois. This restoration
and habitat management project will demonstrate the effects
of partial cutting and prescribed burning
on oak-hickory forests of southern Illinois. SIU
will be restoring these forests to their pre-settlement condition
through thinning unwanted species and understory burning to develop
oak-hickory regeneration and permit maintenance of oak-hickory on
Sinkhole Plain Partnership
Counties: Monroe, Randolph and St. Clair
Primary Contact: Art Ritter, 618-939-4256
Sinkhole Plain Ecosystem Partnership, $15,000. Exotic
Species Control Stemler Cave Woods Natural Area. This project
will eradicate exotic species in Stemler Cave Woods Natural
Area by cutting and spraying during dormant and growing seasons. Bush
honeysuckle is the predominant invasive
and is seriously degrading this high
Spoon River Partnership
Counties: Bureau, Fulton, Henry, Knox, McDonough, Marshall, Peoria,
Stark and Warren
Primary Contact: David King, 309-833-4747
Farmington Central Community Unit School District #265, $66,755.
Farmington CUSD #265 Habitat Creation. Farmington Central CUSD #265
will create more than 30 acres of habitat
on previously farmed land. This project is part of the
103 acres being used to construct a new K-12 school. The property
will also offer students additional outdoor
environmental educational opportunities, and provide for erosion
and sediment control.
Sugar-Pecatonica Rivers Partnership
Counties: Carroll, JoDaviess, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago
Primary Contact: Dave Mullen, 815-629-2468
Ecological Services, $69,275. Survey to identify significant wildlands
in the Sugar-Pecatonica Rivers Area. Ecological Services will
identify wildlands of local, regional and statewide significance in
the Sugar-Pecatonica Rivers Area. Sites will be identified primarily
by interpreting infrared aerial photography. The survey will support
efforts to protect and restore natural lands and waters.
Upper Des Plaines Partnership
Counties: Lake, DuPage and Cook
Primary Contact: Lydia Scott, 847-883-8600
Lake County Forest Preserve District, $97,500. Ethel's Woods
Savanna and Wetland Restoration Project. This project
will provide critical expansion of savanna and wetland communities
around a 185-acre block of intact oak woodlands
that provide important habitat for forest interior bird species.
It also provides for the protection and restoration
of headwater wetland communities and amphibian habitat associated
with Mill Creek.
Land Conservancy of Lake County, Inc., $15,670. Wetland Enhancement
at Pohickory Nature Preserve. LCLC will enhance a 4.3-acre fen wetland
and 2.5-acre upland buffer by controlling
exotic weeds and shrubs through cutting, herbiciding and burning
during a three-year period. Plantings of prairie plugs and seeds will
be used to increase plant quality and wildlife
habitat for this rare ecosystem in northeastern Illinois.
Upper Little Wabash Partnership
Counties: Clay, Coles, Cumberland, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Marion
Primary Contact: Fred Walker, 618-548-4234
Illinois Audubon Society, $9,095. Interpretive Programs at
Prairie Ridge State Natural Area. The Illinois Audubon Society will
provide interpretive programs at Prairie
Ridge State Natural Area, focusing on rare grassland birds. The project
will highlight the need for increasing critical habitat for
Upper Rock River
Counties: Boone, Stephenson and Winnebago
Primary contact: Bruce Olson, 815-636-2671
Roscoe Township, $42,188.50. Kinnikinnick Creek Prairie Restoration.
This project will restore a permanently protected,
21-acre tract of floodplain and dry prairie along the Stone
Bridge Nature Trail. This restoration will protect
the water quality of South Kinnikinnick Creek and enhance prairie
that spans over the property with Bulls coral-drops and a neighboring
designated natural area with threatened
Vermilion River Partnership
Counties: Vermilion and Iroquois
Primary contact: Kevin Green, 217-442-8511
Vermilion County Soil and Water Conservation District, $17,650.
Plotting Habitat Progress on the Prairie. Illinois' only National
Scenic River, the North Fork of the Vermilion River, is home to several
designated natural areas. Grant funds
will be utilized to assess and analyze threatened and endangered species
by using GIS/GPS technology. Results will be used to implement
IDNR recommended conservation for high-risk areas.
Vermilion Watershed Task Force Partnership
Counties: Ford, Iroquois, LaSalle, Livingston, Marshall, McLean and
Primary contact: Bob Lawless, 815-692-4433
Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District, $2,200.
Connecting With Nature While Having Fun.
The SWCD will host its 7th Conservation EXPO, attended by more than
2,200 students in grades 1-5.
Individual classrooms rotate to grade appropriate activities.
Every student also attends a main event program.
This grant will fund four main event programs, presented by a naturalist