Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant
Involve your students in hands-on natural resources stewardship.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Education Grant
The IDNR Division of Education was fortunate to be able to provide funding to teachers and youth group leaders from 2012 through 2014 through an Environmental Education Grant received from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Illinois Student/Youth Wildlife Habitat Action Grant program provided educators (grades prekindergarten through 12) with funds for their students to develop and enhance wildlife habitat on the school grounds and other public places. Through a competitive application process, 54 projects were awarded grants of up to $1,000.00 each. A total of 9,773 students were involved in the program. The wildlife habitat areas were designed to support educational learning standards and classroom lessons by taking students to life for learning. Examples of projects funded include butterfly gardens, prairie plots, rain gardens, outdoor classrooms, pollinator gardens, wetlands, bird nesting boxes and bat roosting boxes. Students were involved in design, implementation and maintenance of each project. This program helped promote awareness and knowledge of the environment and its components, presented opportunities for critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making and involved the students in stewardship actions that will continue over the course of several years. The students were able to increase the amount of green space, reduce storm water runoff and improve children’s health in the local community.