IDNR Accepting Grant Applications for Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship

Rachel Torbert
IDNR Accepting Grant Applications for Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is now accepting applications for grants for Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship projects.  The grant application period is April 1 through May 28, 2021.

Eligible applicants are Conservation Land Trusts exempt from taxation under Section 501 (c) (3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code and whose originating documents include in its purposes the restoration and stewardship of land for conservation purposes. 

The goal of the grant program is to increase the delivery of much needed stewardship activities to natural areas protected within the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC) system.  Stewardship needs on natural areas throughout the state have continued to outpace the ability to deliver these services by individuals, volunteers, organizations, and government agencies.  This grant program is designed to fund projects that immediately address this deficiency and begin to expand on the stewardship capacity of Conservation Land Trusts through grants that will expand their staff and equipment for these activities. 

Funding for this grant program is derived from a portion of the Illinois Natural Areas Acquisition Fund (NAAF) and must be used by the IDNR for the stewardship of natural areas, including habitats for endangered and threatened species (Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Act, 525 ILCS 35/14). 

Stewardship actions funded by this grant program must be included in the management schedules approved by the INPC and are limited to a maximum of $100,000 per proposal. Eligible costs may include staff time related to the project, equipment, and materials necessary to complete stewardship projects such as tools, safety items, herbicide, construction materials, and indirect costs. Benefit costs are not eligible.  Matching funds are required on all projects.  The minimum match requirements allowed by administrative rule are 5% or $1,000, whichever is less, to ensure that all land trusts will have access to the program.

Potential applicants for this program can find more information on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website at or contact or by phone 217-785-4416.

To view the Notice of Funding Opportunity for IDNR programs or to browse all State of Illinois grant opportunities, see
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