American Farmland Trust
Coordinating Cover Crop Adoption to Conserve Natural Resources in Illinois
Coordinate technical and financial support and develop an outreach campaign to help farmers increase the adoption of cover crops in corn, soybean and wheat systems throughout Illinois. Project will support the adoption of cover crops on 75,000 acres to enhance soil health, improve water resources, and provide benefit to wildlife while providing economic benefits to participating farmers.
Association of State Floodplain Managers
Strengthening Coastal Communities Resilience in the Great Lakes Region (multiple states)
Engage coastal shoreline communities in the Great Lakes region in a formal scenario-based process to identify local flood vulnerabilities and to convene complementary regional capacity building workshops to help participating communities prioritize strategies and projects that address identified vulnerabilities. Project will give coastal communities a better understanding of local coastal resilience issues and how to incorporate nature-based solution into plans, and build regional collaboration.
Chicago Park District
Improving Upland and Hemi-Marsh Habitats to Support Migratory Waterfowl at Hegewisch Marsh Park (IL)
Enhance 60 acres of mixed habitat types, including 23 acres of hemi-marsh and 37 acres of adjacent savanna, wet prairie, and vernal pools at Hegewisch Marsh Park on Chicago’s southeast side. Project will improve ecological health and suitability for key species of establishing native plant communities, and grading marsh banks to a more natural slope.
Implementing Farm Bill Programs to Benefit Wetlands Along Mississippi River (MO, IL, KY)
Promote and implement Farm Bill conservation programs with private landowners within the Mississippi Alluvial Valley of southeast Missouri, southwest Illinois, and western Kentucky to restore and enhance wetland habitat. Project will engage a minimum of 250 landowners, enroll 36 landowners in Farm Bill programs, and develop 30 new wetland plans to restore or enhance more than 2,300 acres of wetland habitat, benefiting swamp rabbit, waterfowl and songbirds including the Kentucky warbler.
Friends of the Chicago River
Restoring Riparian Habitat and Improving Public Access to Thorn Creek Tributary (IL)
Improve function and accessibility of Thorn Creek by removing invasive species, improving stormwater infiltration, and enhancing habitat for Illinois species of concern such the wood thrush and red-headed woodpecker in Sweet Woods Forest Preserve. Project will restore 118 acres of Thorn Creek resulting in an additional 1.9 million gallons of stormwater infiltrated into the soil per rain event.
Friends of the Forest Preserves
Restoring Rare Ecosystems in the Lake Michigan Watershed (IL)
Train and employ a five member crew to conduct maintenance of invasive species control efforts with the Calumet Conservation Corps Program at Wentworth Woods and Prairie Forest Preserves. Project will increase native plant species abundance and richness across 150 acres to advance restoration of unique wetland ecosystems in the Calumet region of Illinois and advance skills and certifications for crew members.
Friends of the Forest Preserves
Restoring Wetlands for Wildlife and People at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center (IL)
Restore 18 acres of wetland habitat within the Des Plains River watershed at the Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center forest preserve in Illinois by engaging 250 participants of the Conservation Corps and other youth stewards, who will gain career training through these restoration activities. Project will remove invasive brush and improve habitat for 239 species of birds and six species of reptiles and amphibians.
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative
Facilitating Development of Coastal Resilience Projects for Great Lakes Shoreline Communities
Enable communities to develop implementation of projects that prevent or minimize impacts in coastal areas and facilitating collaboration on coastal resilience needs and opportunities. Project will work with coastal communities to assess critical coastal resilience needs; identify solutions for mitigating risks to community infrastructure; assess project feasibility; outline project development needs and funding; and provide direction on next steps to implement coastal resilience projects.
Lake County Forest Preserve District
Improving Monarch and Pollinator Habitat Through the Barrington Greenway Initiative (IL)
Establish native seed production beds to advance pollinator habitat restoration and improvement efforts through the Barrington Greenway Initiative and support the monarch butterfly and rusty patched bumble bee on public and protected lands in Illinois. Project will improve 1,050 acres, restore 25 acres, collect 10 pounds of milkweed seed, and propagate 50,000 milkweed seedlings.
Lewis and Clark Community College
Coordinating Technical Support for Statewide Collaborative Watershed Conservation (IL)
Increase capacity for one watershed planning expert to facilitate collaborative areawide conservation planning projects with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) field staff and private landowners to bolster local-led efforts improving water quality and wildlife habitat throughout Illinois. Project will connect local partners with NRCS resources to improve watershed conservation planning and management on 500 acres of private working lands.
Implementing Shared Services to Maintain Nature-based Infrastructure in the Calumet Region (IL, IN)
Reduce localized flooding and prevent pollution from entering priority waterways by maintaining green stormwater infrastructure for communities in Illinois and northwest Indiana disproportionately impacted by flooding. Project will provide community-based training and enhance over 1 million square-feet of nature-based infrastructure for self-sustaining maintenance.
Shedd Aquarium Society
Enhancing Aquatic Habitat and Community Stewardship in the Chicago River (IL)
Install floating wetlands and create in-stream habitat to promote biodiversity and shoreline resilience for wildlife and lead community stewardship activities for the South Branch of the Chicago River. Project will engage the public, improve 2 acres of greenspace and install 35 floating wetlands for native fish and migratory bird species.
Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Investigating Fungal Host Invasion Mechanisms to Develop Preventive Interventions in Bats (IL)
Investigate the hypothesis that the process used by well-known plant fungal pathogens is also used by the fungus causing white-nose syndrome to create structures that facilitate infection of bat host tissue. Project will first verify whether the structures are present and, if so, target gene regions that regulate structure formation to create a method that allows testing of chemical treatments and genetic modifications to the fungus that will inhibit its ability to create the structures.