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Grants to Illinois PreK-12 Teachers and Educators
for Environmental Stewardship Projects

Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) – Division of Education

Deadline Date:

11/30/21 Postmarked


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Grants of up to $1,000 to Illinois PreK-12 teachers, youth group leaders, and nature center personnel to engage students in hands-on environmental stewardship activities. Projects must be implemented on school grounds or other public spaces, such as parks, nature centers, and forest preserve district lands.

Projects must emphasize student and youth involvement with planning, development, and maintenance and increase the educational and wildlife habitat values of the site. The applicant must be prepared to maintain and commit resources to the project for at least five years. 

There are two grant options:

Option One: The Standard Pollinator Garden Option

This grant may only be used to establish a pollinator garden. 

The Standard Pollinator Garden Option provides the applicant with a pre-selected list of native plant species to include in a pollinator garden. Only these plant species may be purchased with funding through this option. Other items eligible for purchase through this option are mulch, topsoil or related soil product and lumber or hardware.

Option Two: Habitat Projects

Habitat projects may include, but not be limited to, the following activities: enhance or establish and maintain a schoolyard prairie plot, butterfly garden, rain garden, wetland, native tree arboretum, nesting platform or watering station; design and build a bird feeder or feeding station; or construct and install bat roosting boxes.

Funding requests for Option Two grants should focus on items necessary for enhancement or development of wildlife habitats, such as native plants, seeds, mulch and lumber/hardware for constructing nesting or roosting boxes and platforms. 

Plans that include vegetation should use native species.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175878

Estimated Size of Grant:

The maximum annual award is $1,000 per applicant.

Term of Contract:

The project must be completed before November 30, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Teachers, nature center personnel and adults who are youth group leaders (grades pre-kindergarten through 12) in Illinois may apply.

Illinois Conservation Foundation sites and Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) sites do not qualify for funding. Individual student projects will not be funded.

Option Two: Ineligible costs include, but are not limited to, the following items: consultant fees, birdseed, birdbaths, fuel, equipment, tools, equipment rental, signs, labor, books, Web site development, land acquisition, chemicals (fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, insecticides), certification fees, decorative items.

Pre-Application Information:

- Preliminary application packet (optional): postmarked by October 31, 2021
- Application packet: postmarked by November 30, 2021
- Notification to all applicants: by February 1, 2022
- Submission of final report: by November 30, 2022

Preliminary Application: If you would like for your application to be reviewed for common errors that regularly cause disqualification, you must mail your application package no later than October 31, 2021. You will be notified by email of any of these common errors and given until November 30, 2021, to submit revisions. If you do not submit the revisions by November 30, 2021, your application will be disqualified. No one is required to submit their application for the preliminary review. This procedure is entirely voluntary.

Funds are provided on a reimbursement basis.

According to the Illinois Pesticide Act, a pesticide license is required of anyone applying pesticides in a public space (minimum age to receive a license is 16 years). If you are considering applying any type of pesticide (herbicide, insecticide, fungicide) to your habitat area, please contact the Illinois Department of Agriculture at the phone number listed below for further information.

Option One: Standard Pollinator Garden:
Sample Applications:
Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Podcast:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Submit applications to:
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Division of Education
Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant Program
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271

Illinois Department of Agriculture: 1-800-641-3934

For questions, contact:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois

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