Center for Neighborhood Technology
Installing Green Infrastructure to Improve Water Quality and Reduce Flooding in Riverdale (IL)
Increase stormwater infiltration and reduce runoff in Ivanhoe Park by installing rain gardens and bioswales. Project will improve downstream water quality by capturing 294,000 gallons of stormwater annually and engage residents throughout the planning process to ensure the final designs provide a direct community benefit.

Forest Preserve Foundation
Restoration of Sweet Woods in the Forest Preserves of Cook County (IL)
Restore 180 acres of native uplands ecosystem in Sweet Woods Forest Preserve, a high-priority conservation area for the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Project will be conducted by professional restoration contractors, as well as a 21-person restoration crew from Greencorps, a program which provides conservation work and training for adults facing barriers to employment.

Friends of the Chicago River
Expanded Habitat Restoration at Crooked Creek (IL)
Improve habitat quality in the Crooked Creek watershed through invasive species control. Project will increase high-quality habitat and improve stormwater infiltration across 85 acres, and improve adjacent habitat for the endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly.

Friends of the Forest Preserves
Expanding the Centennial Volunteers Program to Increase Forest Preserves Conservation (IL)
Fortify and expand the Centennial Volunteers program at seven forest preserves to increase invasive species control work and improve restoration management. Project will restore 80 acres along the North Branch of the Chicago River and the Little Calumet River through outreach and engagement of over 750 people.

Friends of the Forest Preserves
Restoring Biodiversity in the Southern Lake Michigan Watershed through Invasive Species Control (IL)
Engage local participants from diverse urban communities and increase capacity to respond to invasive species in the Calumet region in the Southern Lake Michigan Watershed, Illinois. Project will control invasive species on 254 acres of high-quality natural areas within eight project sites.

Friends of the Forest Preserves
Wetland Restoration, Community Engagement and Citizen Science at Watersmeet Woods Forest Preserve (IL)
Remove invasive species on 40 acres of habitat for birds, amphibians and wetland plants at Watersmeet Woods forest preserve in the Chicago River watershed to improve regional water quality. Project will engage 50 volunteers and support five Conservation Corps interns in invasive plant removal and train 10 citizen science leaders to monitor plants and animals at the project site.

Illinois Corn Growers Association
Increasing Adoption of Voluntary Conservation Practices on Private Lands (IL, KY)
Address natural resource concerns on a field-by-field basis by identifying conservation practices that effectively address environmental issues in a financially viable way throughout Illinois and Kentucky. Project will prevent 95 tons of nutrient pollution and 6,375 tons of sediment from entering the system annually by increasing best management practices on 33,000 acres.

Lake County Forest Preserve District
Expanding Invasive Buckthorn Management to a Landscape Scale (IL)
Improve ecosystem function and habitat complexity near the North Branch of the Chicago River by clearing invasive woody species and planting a native cover crop mixture. Project will restore and enhance 140 acres of natural areas buffering the Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve and expand invasive species management to the landscape scale.

Lake County Forest Preserve District
Maintaining and Enhancing Coastal Dune and Swale Habitat by Removing Invasive Species (IL, WI)
Maintain and enhance previous restoration efforts through continued, targeted use of the invasive plant strike team to identify, map and eradicate or contain invasive species in Lake County, Illinois and Kenosha County, Wisconsin. Project will restore and retreat 200 acres of high-quality coastal dune and swale habitat which provides habitat for three federally and 63 state-protected species.

Pollinator Partnership
Improving Pollinator Habitat Connectivity in the Midwest and Great Lakes Flyway (AR, IL, MI, MN, WI)
Develop and expand a regional seed collection and native plant materials network program in the Midwest and Great Lakes region to support monarch butterflies, rusty patched bumble bees and other declining pollinator species. Project will improve more than 5,000 acres of pollinator habitat, collect 50 pounds of milkweed seed, collect 50 pounds of nectar plant seed, and propagate 2,000 milkweed and 1,000 nectar species seedlings.

Prairie Enthusiasts
Increasing Technical Assistance to Engage Landowners in Pollinator Conservation (IA, IL, MN, WI)
Create two landowner-focused staff positions and develop an outreach and technical assistance program in the upper Midwest to implement recovery plans for the monarch butterfly, Karner blue butterfly, and rusty patched bumble bee. Project will identify and engage private working landowners to carry out pollinator habitat restoration and management projects, bringing 3,000 acres under improved management and restoring 2,000 acres of habitat.

Shedd Aquarium Society
Installing Floating, In-stream Habitat to Support Greater Biodiversity in the Chicago River (IL)
Design and install floating, in-stream habitat to advance a section of unique habitat in the Chicago River, designated as the “Wild Mile.” Project will enhance habitat quality, creating a more naturalized shoreline and support public engagement through stewardship activities at the installed habitat site.

Trout Unlimited
Brook Trout Monitoring and Evaluation for Sustain our Great Lakes (multiple states)
Conduct an evaluation to understand brook trout response, including abundance, young of year, multiple life stages, and effective breeders, to the improved access to and quality of habitat. Project will track progress towards the Great Lakes Business Plan stream habitat related goals.

Trout Unlimited
Conservation Assessment of Brook Trout and Planning and Impact Tool Development in the Great Lakes Region (multiple states)
Conduct a broad assessment of existing brook trout population viability within the U.S. portion of the Great Lakes watershed that will build off of and be compatible with the analysis and associated tools developed for NFWF’s Mid-Atlantic/Northeast region. Project will assist NFWF in identifying conservation needs and priority investment areas throughout the basin and associated tools will enable NFWF to develop and measure population-based recovery goals over time across multiple NFWF landscapes, particularly the Northeast and Great Lakes.

Trout Unlimited
Engaging Landowners in Farm Bill Programs (IA, IL, MN, WI)
Restore cold-water streams and watersheds in the Driftless Area, creating habitat practices for fish, shorebirds, amphibians, reptiles and other aquatic biota. Project will improve management on 525 acres, restore 30 miles of stream, prevent 9,000 tons of sediment and four tons of nutrient pollution from entering the system annually.

Wetlands Initiative
Increase Landowner Adoption of Wetland Construction (IL)
Accelerate implementation of constructed wetlands, reducing nutrient runoff in priority watersheds across Bureau, Ford, LaSalle, Livingston, and Marshall-Putnam counties in north-central Illinois. Project will reach 300 landowners, install six new constructed wetlands and increase on-the-ground sustainability efforts.

Wetlands Initiative
Restoring Remnant Wetland Habitat (IL)
Restore habitat quality and biodiversity in the Indian Ridge Marsh, a priority remnant wetland in the Calumet region, to benefit wetland-dependent birds and wildlife while engaging the surrounding low-income communities with the site as a local natural area open for public access. Project will restore 76 acres of marsh, wet meadow and upland prairie habitats.