The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) announced today that 24 Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grants have been awarded from the fall 2012 application period. A total of $18,890.13 will be distributed.

“The Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant provides children and educators with the opportunity to develop wildlife habitat, reduce mowing and increase the use of native plants in Illinois landscapes,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “Students take part in all phases of these projects and realize that they can make a difference in the world. These gardens also provide learning experiences that support the educational curriculum.”

The Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program supports the development or enhancement of wildlife habitat on the school grounds or other public place. Funding for this program is provided through donations to the ICF. The Jadel Youth Fund, Evanston, and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation, Skokie, are the major sponsors for this program. A grant to support the program was also received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Education Program. More than $139,000 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,” Miller said. “It is our goal to have Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program projects developed in every county of the state and eventually at every school.”

Applications are being accepted now for the November 30, 2013, Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant application deadline. See for the application form and related information or call 217-524-4126 or email

Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Winners

Champaign County 

  • Martin Luther King, Junior, Elementary School, Urbana. Grades: kindergarten-5. Project: develop an outdoor science laboratory in the school courtyard. Grant Award: $1,000.00.

Clay County 

  • North Clay High School, Louisville. Grades: 11-12. Project: construct a bird and butterfly garden. Grant Award: $1,000.00.

Cook County 

  • Hawthorne Early Childhood School, Wheeling. Grade: prekindergarten. Project: plant a butterfly garden. Grant Award: $1,000.00.
  • Holy Family Catholic Academy, Inverness. Grades: kindergarten-8. Project: design and plant a rain garden. Grant Award: $603.00.
  • Maine East High School. Park Ridge. Grades: 9-12. Project: enhance the on-campus oak savanna by improving bird habitat. Grant Award: $793.90.
  • Montessori School of Lemont, Lemont. Grades: prekindergarten-8. Project: plant a butterfly garden. Grant Award: $1,000.00.
  • Orland Junior High School, Orland Park. Grades: 6-8. Project: develop a butterfly garden. Grant Award: $240.00.
  • Prosser Career Academy, Chicago. Grades: 9-12. Project: construct and install nesting boxes for wood ducks at a nature center. Grant Award: $995.24.
  • Reavis High School, Burbank. Grades: 9-12. Project: install a prairie plot in the school courtyard. Grant Award: $787.00.

Grundy County 

  • Minooka Community High School District 111, Channahon. Grades: 9-10. Project: plant a prairie plot. Grant Award: $1,000.00.

Hamilton County 

  • Hamilton County Junior/Senior High School, McLeansboro. Grades: 7-12. Project: create a chimney swift nesting tower. Grant Award: $928.00.

Kendall County 

  • Oswego East High School, Oswego. Grades: 9-12. Project: develop a native wetland/prairie restoration plot. Grant Award: $873.00.

Knox County 

  • Galesburg High School, Galesburg. Grades: 9-12. Project: establish a native prairie plot on the school grounds. Grant Award: $260.00.

La Salle County 

  • Earlville Community Unit School District #9, Earlville. Grades: 9-12. Project: plant a butterfly garden in the outdoor courtyard. Grant Award: $1,000.00.

Lake County 

  • Montessori Children’s House of North Barrington, North Barrington. Grades: prekindergarten. Project: develop a bird and butterfly garden. Grant Award: $966.00.

Logan County 

  • Lincoln College, Lincoln. Grades: 1-12. Project: install butterfly gardens at the college’s outdoor environmental education center. Grant Award: $966.00.

McDonough County 

  • Bushnell-Prairie City Junior High School, Bushnell. Grade: 8. Project: renew and expand bird habitat on school grounds. Grant Award: $684.82.

McLean County 

  • Le Roy Cub Scout Pack 3590 and Le Roy Elementary School, Le Roy. Grades: 1-12. Project: enhance an existing butterfly garden. Grant Award: $405.31.

Peoria County 

  • Peoria Park District – Sommer Park, Edwards. Grades: 1-6. Project: establish a hummingbird habitat. Grant Award: $470.00.

Sangamon County 

  • Cathedral School, Springfield. Grades: 5-6. Project: construct a butterfly garden. Grant Award: $427.10.
  • Fairview Elementary School, Springfield. Grades: kindergarten-5. Project: install a butterfly garden. Grant Award: $516.00.

St. Clair County 

  • St. John the Baptist Catholic School, Smithton. Grades: kindergarten-8. Project: develop an outdoor garden classroom. Grant Award: $1,000.00.

Williamson County 

  • Malone’s Early Learning Center, Carterville. Grade: prekindergarten. Project: develop an outdoor learning center with bird feeders, nesting boxes and a butterfly garden. Grant Award: $999.39.

Woodford County 

  • Riverview Grade School, East Peoria. Grades: prekindergarten-8. Project: expand the existing prairie plot and add bat houses. Grant Award: $975.37.

Logo courtesy Illinois Department of Natural Resources

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