2023 NASA grant applications are now being accepted! Find all the details on how to apply HERE.
Ten grants for land trusts in Illinois totaling $500,000 were awarded in 2022 to land trusts to support stewardship on land protected by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC). This is the second year grants for the Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship grant program (NASA) were awarded to help increase the delivery of much-needed stewardship activities to natural areas permanently protected within the INPC system. Eight grants totalling $456,000 were awarded in the program’s first year in 2021.
PSCC is responsible for writing the original bill along with the Illinois Environmental Council and other supporting partners that passed in 2017 making these stewardship grants possible.
Eligible applicants under the grant program are Conservation Land Trusts exempt from taxation under Section 501(c)(3) of the federal Internal Revenue Code and whose originating documents include in their purposes the restoration and stewardship of land for conservation purposes.
Here’s a brief summary of the impact of these grants so far:
- IDNR awarded a total of $956,000 in the first two years of the NASA grant program
- Eight land trusts received grants in the first year (2021) and 10 land trusts received grants in 2022
- The smallest grant was $20,000; the largest was $99,344.79
- Requested amount in 2021 was $800,000; the requested amount in the second year was $1 million
- The money to date has been spent on managing 51 nature preserves and land and water reserves in 21 counties
Here are the grant recipients for 2022 and their intended use:
The Wetlands Initiative, $51,350.41. Hire seasonal technicians to perform intensive non-native cattail control, woody plant control and planting of sedge plugs at Thomas W. and Elizabeth Moews Dore Seep Nature Preserve (Putnam County).
Citizens for Conservation, $26,574. Purchase a utility terrain vehicle with tracks and a trailer for transport to facilitate restoration efforts, including herbicide application and prescribed fire at Barrington Bog Nature Preserve (Lake County).
Clifftop, $35,800. Enlist contractual services to support glade restoration, eradication of non-native invasive species, install fire breaks and conduct prescribed fire at White Rock Land and Water Reserve and Luella Schaefer Memorial Hill Prairies Land and Water Reserve (Monroe County).
Clifftop, $53,999. Purchase a utility terrain vehicle to haul equipment and volunteers and conduct site stewardship work. Hire a contractor to perform large-scale management efforts at Storment Hauss Nature Preserve (Monroe County).
Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation, $20,000. Purchase a utility terrain vehicle to increase stewardship capacity for performing invasive species control and prescribed fire at Rutherford Refuge at Twin Bridges Nature Preserve, Casper Bluff Land and Water Reserve, Apple River Canyon Nature Preserve and Land and Water Reserve, Wapello Land and Water Reserve (all within Jo Daviess County), and Hahnaman Sand Prairie Nature Preserve (Whiteside County).
Lake Forest Open Lands Association, $70,660. Purchase equipment, supplies and contractual assistance to support stewardship to improve natural community structure and diversity at Skokie River Nature Preserve and Middlefork Savanna Nature Preserve (Lake County).
Natural Land Institute, $13,144.80. Purchase equipment to support non-native invasives removal and prescribed fire at Howard D. Colman Dells Nature Preserve, Burr Oak Valley Nature Preserve, Harlem Hills Nature Preserve (all within Winnebago County) and Kyte River Bottoms Land and Water Reserve (Ogle County).
Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves, $69,344.79. Purchase equipment and supplies and enlist contractual assistance to support volunteer teams in invasives control, prescribed fire, seed dispersal and rare species stewardship at Kishwaukee Fen Nature Preserve (McHenry County), Old Plank Road Prairie Nature Preserve (Cook County) and Grisley Woods Land and Water Reserve (Williamson County).
Lake Bluff Open Lands Association, $59,568. Hire interns and contractual services to reduce undesirable woody species, remove undesirable mature trees, control invasives and conduct prescribed fire to recover the natural community structure at Skokie River Prairie Land and Water Reserve (Lake County).
Here are the grant recipients for 2021 and their intended use:
Land Conservation Foundation – $20,000. Control of invasive species at Mettler Woods Nature Preserve and Charlotte and Dan Brady Woods Nature Preserve in Champaign and DeWitt counties.
The Nature Conservancy – $55,786.92. Equipment for installing prescribed fire breaks and invasive species control at Carl N. Becker Nature Preserve, Pembroke Savanna Nature Preserve, Hopkins Park Nature Preserve, Tallmadge Savanna Land and Water Reserve, Mskoda Land and Water Reserve, and Guiding Star Savanna Nature Preserve in Kankakee County.
Prairie Hills Resource Conservation & Development – $50,879.02. Natural areas management equipment, prescribed burn support, and invasive species control at Nenawakwa Land and Water Reserve, Thistle Hills Land and Water Reserve, Stony Hills Nature Preserve, and Jamar Haven Land and Water Reserve in Hancock and McDonough counties.
Illinois Audubon Society – $60,000. Invasive species control at Round Pond Nature Preserve in Pope County.
The Conservation Foundation – $82,500. Prescribed burns and canopy thinning at Dayton Bluffs Land and Water Reserve and O’Hara Woods Nature Preserve in LaSalle and Will counties.
Grand Prairie Friends – $71,534.10. Equipment, prescribed burn support, and herbicide for invasive species control at Warbler Bottoms North Land and Water Reserve, Warbler Landing Land and Water Reserve, Warbler Woods North Land and Water Reserve, Embarras Ridges Land and Water Reserve, and Warbler Woods Nature Preserve in Coles County.
The Land Conservancy of McHenry County – $60,295.80. Equipment, prescribed burn support, and herbicide for invasive species control at Yonder Prairie Nature Preserve (and Westwood Park buffer), Irish Oaks Savanna Nature Preserve, Boloria Fen and Sedge Meadow Nature Preserve, and Spring Hollow Buffer (Boone Creek Fen Nature Preserve) in McHenry County.
Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation – $55,000. Prescribed burn support, invasive species control, forest improvements, tree planting, and removal of woody species at Apple River Canyon Nature Preserve and Apple River Canyon Land and Water Reserve in Jo Daviess County.
For more information on the Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship Grant Program, go to the IDNR website HERE.