"Schoolyard Habitat Action grants provide funding that
enables young people to study nature through the hands-on creation
of animal habitats," said Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Director Joel Brunsvold, who chairs the Illinois Conservation
Foundation board of directors. "Student-based projects such as these
not only enhance education but create lasting environmental
Along with a grant of up to $600, those awarded grants
can receive related classroom materials and a schoolyard habitat
sign to post at the habitat site. Technical assistance from
Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologists is available.
Funding for the
Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program is made
possible by a donation from the Jadel Family Foundation. The program
is administered through the Illinois Conservation Foundation, a
not-for profit organization established to enhance the programs of
Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The foundation plays a
significant role in raising funds for many worthwhile causes,
including the planting of millions of trees, restoration of species
such as the river otter and mud turtle, and support of youth outdoor
"The Jadel family has been very generous and supportive of this
program," said Jeff Vose, Division of Education administrator for
the Department of Natural Resources. "Their generosity and
enthusiasm have spurred other conservation-minded businesses and
individuals to donate to the foundation and help bring these outdoor
classrooms to even more Illinois children."
Businesses, corporations and other contributors wishing to help
fund the grant program in the future can contact the Department of
Natural Resources, Division of Education, at (217) 524-4126 or the
Illinois Conservation Foundation at (217) 785-2003.
To receive a copy of the new 2005 Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant
application, call (217) 524-4126 or e-mail
email@example.com. Information is also available
online at http://dnr.state.il.us.
Click on the
"Education" link on the home page.
The following is a list of the 2004 Schoolyard Habitat Action
Galva Community School District 224, Galva
Project: To create habitat for birds, bats and butterflies in the
district's existing sensory garden and prairie plot. Award: $300.
Yorkville Grade School, Yorkville
Project: To construct bird feeders and develop and maintain a
natural bird habitat. The habitat will include native plant species.
Circuit Breaker School, Seneca
Project: To create a butterfly habitat where students can observe
the interaction of plants and animals and preserve the function of
butterflies in pollination of plants in general. Award: $400.
Lincoln Community School District, Lincoln
Project: Students in the Lincoln Community High School landscaping
class will draft landscape plans and construct a prairie garden
containing native Illinois plants at New Holland-Middletown Grade
School. Students will study and identify plants and learn about
plant care. The area will be used to perform and research
environmental science projects. Award: $200.
New Central Elementary School, Havana
Project: Students will collect, stratify and start native seeds,
which will be transplanted to establish a Prairie School Habitat.
Lakeview Nature Center, Macomb
Project: To build a bird feeding and observation station that will
include native species of wildflowers, grass, shrubs and trees for
wildlife. Award: $600.
[to top of second column in this article]
Bushnell-Prairie City Community Unit School District 170,
Project: Students in grades 8-12 will add trees, shrubs, grasses and
flowers native to Illinois in the existing outdoor classroom area.
Life Crossing Academy, Bloomington
Project: Students of grades 2-12 and teachers will create a prairie
plot using native Illinois plants. This plot will be shared with the
community to enhance awareness of prairie plants. Award: $291.00
Timber Point Outdoor Center, Hudson
Project: To provide an accessible ornithological trail to children
and adults who use wheelchairs. Summer 2005 campers will construct
and place birdhouses along the interpretive trail at a height
visible to those in wheelchairs. Award: $600.
Cantrall Elementary School, Cantrall
Project: To establish a wildlife habitat area that will educate
students and the community about the diversity of wildlife,
ecological principles, management and conservation. Award: $578.
Bethany Elementary School, Bethany
Project: To rejuvenate an existing butterfly garden for the purposes
of observing the life cycle of a butterfly from egg to adult and
providing student opportunities to observe hummingbirds in a natural
habitat. Award: $344.75.
Allerton Park, Monticello
Project: To create a bird feeding and viewing area outside the
park's visitor center in order to benefit local wildlife and provide
a hands-on teaching tool for park visitors. Award: $600.
Sparta Community Unit School District 140, Sparta
Project: To provide cross-curricular, natural learning opportunities
through the development of 2.5 acres between two schools into a
nature learning center with environmental learning stations.
Students will learn to identify species of grasses, wildlife and
trees. Award: $600.
Washington Middle School, Springfield
Project: To landscape and beautify the grounds near the entrance to
the school with a garden of native plants that will attract
wildlife. Award: $359.
Nashville Community School District 49, Nashville
Project: Junior high students will plant a butterfly garden and
construct a weather station for use by K-8 students. Award: $400.
Whiteside County Soil and Water Conservation District, Morrison
Project: To restore a wildlife garden at Northside School and
introduce prairie forbs and grasses to the plot. Award: $200.
Nelson Prairie Elementary School, New Lenox
Project: To provide an outdoor area which will offer students in
first, second and third grades opportunities to observe and study
the interdependence of plans and animals. The habitat area will be
filled with plants providing either food, water or shelter to native
birds, small mammals, insects, reptiles and amphibians native to
northern Illinois. Award: $364.02.
Winnebago School District 323, Winnebago
Project: A joint school district and Eagle Scout project to create
an Illinois prairie habitat. The site will be used for observations,
experiments and journaling. Award: $300.50.
Conservation Foundation news release]