Land trust receives Natural Areas Stewardship grant from IDNR for work in McDonough, Hancock counties

Prairie Hills

SPRINGFIELD – Eleven grants totaling nearly $750,000 recently were awarded to Illinois land trusts to support stewardship on land protected by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced Friday in a press release.

The goal of the Natural Areas Stewardship grant program is to increase the delivery of much needed stewardship activities to natural areas that are permanently protected within the nature preserves system. Stewardship needs on natural areas throughout Illinois have continued to outpace the ability to deliver these services by individuals, volunteers, organizations, and government agencies.

This grant program is designed to fund projects that address this deficiency by increasing the stewardship capacity of conservation land trusts through grants that will expand their staff and equipment for these activities. Land trusts receiving 2023 grants and their stewardship action are: 

One of the grants is going to the Prairie Hills Resource Conservation and Development, which is receiving $89,784.68 for work in McDonough and Hancock counties. The grant will be used to buy equipment and supplies and support staff time to perform ecological restoration through prescribed fire implementation and invasive species removal at Nenawakwa Land and Water Reserve, Thistle Hills Land and Water Reserve, Stony Hills Nature Preserve, Jamar Haven Land and Water Reserve, and Short Fork Seep Nature Preserve.

Funding for IDNR’s Natural Area Stewardship grant program is derived from a portion of the Illinois Natural Areas Acquisition Fund. The fund must be used by the IDNR for the acquisition and stewardship of natural areas, including habitats for endangered and threatened species (Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Act, 525 ILCS 35/14).

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