On November 13, 2023, ecosystem restoration in the state of Illinois took a step forward when seven organizations were awarded state Habitat Fund Project grants from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
This grant program enhances game and non-game wildlife habitat through projects developed by non-profit organizations and governmental entities.
Funding for the Illinois Habitat Fund Special Wildlife Funds Grant Program comes from the sale of habitat stamps to sportsmen and sportswomen.
The State Habitat Fund Committee recommended funding for the seven highest-scoring grant projects.
The winning organizations are:
- Pheasants Forever – $234,564.62 to fund six Farm Bill biologists in Natural Resources Conservation Service offices working with private landowners on habitat improvements in east-central, west-central, and southeast Illinois counties. The grantee match is $703,873.89.
- Shawnee Resource Conservation and Development – $191,452.80 for oak forest habitat restoration on privately owned land parcels. The work will include invasive species removal, prescribed burns, and forest stand improvements. Grantee match is $60,000.
- Pheasants Forever – $100,000 to restore 20 wetland basins within prairie grassland habitat in northeast, east-central, and west-central Illinois counties. Grantee match is $215,955.20.
- Quail and Upland Game Alliance – $55,000 to fund one habitat specialist to work with private landowners on habitat improvements. Grantee match is $30,000.
- Quail and Upland Game Alliance – $35,000 to purchase a drill planter to be stored in Du Quoin for southern Illinois areas. Grantee match is $15,000.
- Logan County Soil and Water Conservation District – $34,935 for replacement of a high-work-hours 20-year-old drill planter previously purchased by the Habitat Fund 20 years ago. Grantee match is $11,645.
- Lake County Forest Preserve – $15,700 for purchase of prescribed burn tools and supplies for an increased volunteer work force of 55 volunteers working on five forested locations. Grantee match is $9,511.20.