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Steve Ettinger
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Youth habitat enhancement projects receive funding through Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Grant Program

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) today announced that 17 Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grants have been awarded from the Fall 2022 application period. A total of over $15,700 will be distributed.


“The Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program provides children and educators with an opportunity to increase the use of native plants in Illinois landscapes while benefitting wildlife species,” said IDNR Director Natalie Phelps Finnie. “By participating in these projects, students learn that their efforts can make a positive difference in the world, and they gain experience in problem-based learning by planning, developing, and maintaining the habitat.”


The Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program supports the development or enhancement of wildlife habitat on school grounds or other public places. Funding is provided through donations to the ICF. The Jadel Youth Fund and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation are the major sponsors for this program.


Nearly $360,000 in Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant funding has been distributed since the program’s inception.


“We want school children to learn about nature through hands-on experiences,” Finnie said. “It is our goal to have Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program projects developed in every county of the state and eventually at every school. So far, we have supported projects in 86 of Illinois’ counties.”


Applications will be accepted soon for the next round of the Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Program, with an application deadline of Nov. 30, 2023.


Visit https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/education/Pages/GrantsSHAG.aspx to access the application form and related information or call 217-524-4126 or email dnr.teachkids@illinois.gov. For a list of this year’s grant recipients, check the IDNR website at  https://www2qa.illinois.gov/dnr/education/Documents/2023SHAGWinners.pdf

The latest Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grants awarded are:


Champaign County
Gerber School – Urbana School District #116, Urbana. 6 th -12 th grade. Pollinator Garden. Grant Award: $367.58.


Clinton County
Bartelso Grade School, Bartelso. 5 th -8 th grade. Standard Pollinator Garden. Grant Award: $1000.00.


Cook County
Congress Park Elementary School, Brookfield. 6 th grade. Birds & Butterflies Pollinators Garden. Grant Award: $1000.00.
Congress Park Elementary School. Brookfield. 6 th Grade. Standard Pollinator Garden. Grant Award: $1000.00.
Galileo Scholastic Academy, Chicago. 6 th -7 th Grade. Standard Pollinator Garden. Grant Award: $480.91. 
George B. Swift Specialty School, Chicago. K-5 th grade. Woodland Habitat. Grant Award: $1000.00.
Lenart RGC, Chicago. 3 rd -8 th grade. Birds & Butterflies Pollinators Garden. Grant Award: $997.00.
North-Grand High School, Chicago. 9 th -12 th grade. Standard Pollinator Garden. Grant Award: $994.52.


Crawford County
Palestine High School, Palestine. 9 th -12 th grade. Woodland Habitat. Grant Award: $1000.00.

DuPage County
Arbor View Elementary School, Glen Ellyn. 3 rd grade. Standard Pollinator Garden. Grant Award: $981.73.

Grundy County
Prairieland Kids Daycare and Learning Center, Morris. Prekindergarten. Standard Pollinator Garden. Grant Award: $973.30.

Kendall County
Grande Park Elementary PTA, Plainfield. 5 th grade. Standard Pollinator Garden. Grant Award: $970.00.


Lake County
Libertyville High School, Libertyville. 9 th -12 th grade. Pollinators Wetland. Grant Award: $1000.00.

Morgan County
Meredosia-Chambersburg High School, Meredosia. Standard Pollinator Garden. Grant Award: $990.40.


Peoria County
Oak Grove School District 68, Bartonville. 7 th -8 th grade. Standard Pollinator Garden. Grant Award: $1000.00.


St Clair County
Carriel Junior High, O’Fallon. 7 th . Standard Pollinator Garden. 7 th grade. Grant Award: $1000.00. 


Will County
Elwood CCDE#203, Elwood. Standard Pollinator Garden, Elwood. 5 th -8 th . Grant Award: $1000.00.


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