Stay in-the-know with the latest news updates from Illinois Conservation Foundation. We'll also be sharing various articles and updates from outside resources that we feel you may be interested in. 


Latest News

Steve Ettinger
/ Categories: News

2023 Biodiversity Field Trip Grants will help more than 3900 Illinois students learn about state’s natural heritage

SPRINGFIELD – Nearly 4000 students will visit Illinois state parks, natural areas, museums and other natural resources sites this year to learn about nature and conservation thanks to grant funding through the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Program.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Natalie Phelps Finnie today announced the awarding of more than $58,000 in donated funds for 58 field trip grants. Grant recipients represent 17 counties in the state.

“This program allows students to visit locations throughout Illinois to see firsthand what they’ve been learning about in the classroom,” Finnien said. “Our future conservation leaders need the opportunity to experience Illinois’ natural resources in person. We are pleased to be able to support learning outside the classroom with these grants.”
The entire $58,789.86 awarded for 2023 was made possible by private donations from the the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation of Skokie and the D.F. and M.T. Grohne Family Foundation of Wilmington. The donations and funding for the grants are coordinated by the Illinois Conservation Foundation.

Since its inception in 2001, the grant program has distributed more than $1.3 million, and more than 122,000 students have been provided the opportunity to take part in a field trip. Grant recipients are located throughout Illinois and represent students from pre-kindergarten through high school.

The competitive grant program allows Illinois teachers to apply for funds to take students on a field trip to study Illinois’ natural resources. Learning activities must directly relate to the school’s curriculum. The annual application deadline is Jan. 31. Funding administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation covers expenses such as the costs of transportation and substitute teachers.

For more information about the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Program, contact the IDNR Division of Education at or 217-524-4126. The Illinois Conservation Foundation gladly accepts donations for the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Program. Visit for additional information.

For a list of this year’s grant recipients, check the IDNR website at

The 2023 application form will be available soon at



List of Grants


Pilsch Homeschool, Urbana. Grade 5-10. Plum Creek Nature Center, Beecher. $302.20.



Casey-Westfield School, Casey. Grade 5-6.  Fox Ridge State Park, Charleston. $322.92



Academy for Global Citizenship, Chicago. Grade 3. Margaret T. Burroughs Beach, Chicago. $500.00

Arcadia Elementary, Olympia Fields. Grade 4-6. Central Park Wetlands, Park Forest. $1,350.00

Butler College Prep, Chicago. Grade 9-11. Starved Rock State Park, Utica. $1860.00.

Glenbrook Elementary, Streamwood. Grade 4-6. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle. $566.75.

Loyola Academy, Wilmette. Grade 12. Kent Fuller Prairie/Tyner Interpretive Center, Glenview. $1,104.50

Loyola Academy, Wilmette. Grade 10-11. Chicago Botanic Gardens, Glencoe. $600.00

Loyola Academy, Wilmette. Grade10-12. Munz Campus, Glenview. $7,000.00

Loyola Academy, Wilmette. Grade 10-11. Skokie Lagoons, Glencoe. $700.00

Loyola Academy, Wilmette. Grade 12. Illinois Beach State Park, Zion. $1,000.00

Loyola Academy, Wilmette., Grade 12. North Branch of the Chicago River, Chicago. $1,000.00

Oakton Elementary, Evanston. Grade K-1. Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe. $1,000.00

Pershing Elementary, Berwyn. Grade K-3. Morton Arboretum, Lisle. $3,870.00

Pickard Elementary, Chicago. GradeK-2. Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center, Willow Springs. $500.00

Pilgrim Lutheran School, Chicago. Grade 4. Emily Oaks Nature Center, Skokie. $500.00



Villa Grove CUSD #302, Villa Grove. Grade 7-8. Fox Ridge State Park, Charleston. $741.00



Benjamin Middle School, West Chicago. Grade 6. Lorado Taft, Oregon. $2,500.00

Community High School District 94, West Chicago. Grade 11-12. Blackwell Forrest Preserve/Urban Stream Research Center, Warrenville. $447.40.

Evergreen Elementary, Carol Stream. Grade 4. The Morton Arboretum, Lisle. $1,695.00

Evergreen Elementary, Carol Stream. Grade 2. Hickory Knolls Discovery Center, St. Charles. $1,250.00

Franzen Intermediate School, Itasca. Grade 5. Lorado Taft, Oregon. $2,500.00.

Winfield Central School, Winfield. Grade 7. Fermilab, Batavia. $700.00.

Winfield Central School, Winfield. Grade 8. Blackwell Forest Preserve, Warrenville. $805.00



Highland Park High School, Highland Park. Grade 11-12. Independence Grove Forest Preserve, Libertyville. $238.00

Howe School, Beach Park. Grade 5. Adeline Jay Geo-Karis Illinois Beach State Park, Zion. $300.00



Prairie Central Elementary, Fairbury. Grade 2. Fugate Woods, Fairbury. $375.00.




Carlock Elementary, Carlock. Grade K-5. Sugar Grove Nature Center, McClean. $2,650.00.



Valmeyer CUSD 3, Valmeyer. Grade 5. Waterloo Sportsman’s Club, Waterloo. $168.58



Sullivan Elementary School, Sullivan. Grade 1. Ballard Nature Center, Altamont. $1,193.00.



Pleasant Hill Elementary, Peoria. Grade 1-2. Wildlife Prairie Park, Hanna City. $690.00



Walk Homeschool, Bement. Grade 5-10. Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Wilmington. $415.58



Sparta Lincoln School, Sparta. Grade 6-8. Camp Ondessonk. $1,000.


Rock Island

Glenview Middle School, East Moline. Grade 5. Lorado Taft Field Campus, Oregon. $2,935.00



Gregory Intermediate, Moweaqua. Grade 5. Camp Maranatha, Ramsey. $500.00



Anna Jonesboro Community High School, Grade 12. Cache River Wetlands, Cypress. $300.00

Jonesboro Elementary, Jonesboro. Grade 6. Touch of Nature Program, Makanda.  $1,050.00



United West Elementary, Monmouth. Grade 5. Blackthorn Hill Nature Preserve, Alexis. $650.00



Carterville Intermediate School, Carterville. Grade 5. Cache River State Natural Area, Cypress. $4,260.00

Carterville Junior High School Carterville. Grade 8. Giant City State Park, Little Grassy Lake, Makanda. $8,300.00



Previous Article Youth habitat enhancement projects receive funding through Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Grant Program
Next Article Illinois Outdoor Hall Of Fame To Induct Five New Members

Theme picker

Follow ICF on Social Media