Schoolyard habitat grant funds awarded

Twenty-four Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grants have been awarded from the fall 2016 application period. A total of $20,227.82 will be distributed. 

Grant recipients were announced recently by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, IDNR, and the Illinois Conservation Foundation, ICF.

Schools in two Southern Illinois counties were among the grant recipients, which included, by county:

Jackson County: Carbondale New School, Carbondale. Grades: prekindergarten-8. Project: plant a pollinator garden. Grant award: $997.06. 

Johnson County: Goreville Community School District Unit 1, Goreville. Grade: 3. Project: plant a butterfly garden. Grant award: $752.79. 

“The Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program provides children and educators with an opportunity to develop wildlife habitat and increase the use of native plants in Illinois landscapes,” IDNR director Wayne Rosenthal said in a news release.

“By participating in these projects, students learn that their efforts can make a 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 the school grounds or other public places. 

Funding for the program is provided through donations to the ICF. 

The Jadel Youth Fund of Evanston and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation of Skokie are the major sponsors for the program. 

More than $236,000 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,” Rosenthal added. 

“It is our goal to have the 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 83 of Illinois’ counties.” 

Applications will be accepted soon for the Nov. 30 Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant application deadline. 

The application form and related information can be found online at 

Information also is available by calling 217-524-4126 and by email at

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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