Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Illinois American Water Announces over $28,000 Awarded through 2011 Environmental Grant Program

Illinois American Water announced today that seven watershed initiatives across the state will receive funding
through the company’s 2011 Environmental Grant Program. The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling approximately $28,000
which the company earmarked for community-based projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds.


A panel of judges selected the winners from over 30 grant applications, which were evaluated on criteria such as environmental need, innovation,
community engagement and sustainability.  Illinois American Water awarded its 2011 Environmental Grants to:


·        Spring Lake Nature Park in Streator, Ill.
·        Lisle Park District’s in Lisle, Ill.

·        Bradley University in Peoria, Ill.

·        St. Clair County Health Department in Belleville, Ill.

·        McHenry County Government Water Resources Division in Woodstock, Ill.

·        Tazewell County Health Department in Pekin, Ill.

·        Great Rivers Land Trust in Alton, Ill.


Established in 2005, our Environmental Grant Program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects in our local communities.
“The Environmental Grant Program has been very successful in helping local organizations carry out initiatives that not only benefit our watersheds, but
increase awareness and community participation.” said Karla Olson Teasley, president of Illinois American Water.


The following describes the 2011 grant recipients’ projects:

·        
Spring Lake Nature Park will receive their requested grant amount of $1,427 in full for the West Trail Bridge Project.  This project will provide a pedestrian
bridge over Egg Bagg Creek and will reduce stream bank erosion of the creek.

·        Lisle Park District will receive a grant of $4,500 for the Woodglenn Park Renovation and Wetland Detention Interpretation Project.  This project will incorporate
environmental and educational signage and activities at the park’s already established wetland area.  By using the available landscape, the Lisle Park District
will increase awareness in regards to a wetland’s far-reaching benefits.

·        
Bradley University’s grant of $5,500 will be used to create the River Action League.  The River Action League will mobilize citizens for watershed health by
providing sample collection kits and training volunteers to collect samples from the Illinois River.  The samples will be analyzed for the determination of water
resource needs locally.

·        
St. Clair County Health Department’s will receive their requested grant amount of $2,000 in full for the Water Resource Management and Sustainable Development
Project.  This project will strive to develop an environmentally sustainable community which includes the expansion of the ground water protection program by providing
educational presentations to employees, residents and students.

·        
McHenry County Government Water Resources Division will receive a grant of $6,200 for their Rain Garden and Xeriscaping Educational Project.  The project will
educate residents and landscapers in McHenry County on the benefits of native landscaping through the use of model gardens.  Educational materials will also be
created and provided through this project.

·        
Tazewell County Health Department was awarded a $3,800 grant for the Winter Snow and Ice Conference.  This event will address the need for increasing awareness
in the community on the rise in chlorides in ground water and educate the region’s snow and ice operators on more sustainable application techniques of road salt.

·        
Great Rivers Land Trust will utilize a grant of $5,000 to construct a filter pond on the grounds of The Nature Institute in Godfrey, Illinois. The purpose of the project is
to demonstrate the effectiveness of a two tiered filtration system to prevent sediment and impurities from reaching our streams and rivers.


All grant recipients will submit a report at the end of the year to American Water regarding how their grant was used to achieve their specific environmental goals.


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