Illinois American Water Announces 2016 Environmental Grant Program; Applications are due April 1, 2016

– Illinois American Water announced today that the application process is now open for its 2016 Environmental Grant Program.  The program supports innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds through partnerships.

The company will award grants of up to $10,000. The program is designed to support diverse types of activities, such as watershed cleanups, reforestation efforts, biodiversity projects, streamside buffer restoration projects, wellhead protection initiatives and hazardous waste collection efforts.

"Illinois American Water is committed to protecting water supplies through outreach and education. This program is another way to help communities in this effort,” said Bruce Hauk, Illinois American Water President.

To qualify, proposed projects must be located in an Illinois American Water service area and:
·         address a source water or watershed protection need in the community
·         be completed between May 1, 2016 and November 30, 2016.
·         be a new or innovative program for the community, or serve as a significant expansion to an existing program
·         be carried out by a formal or informal partnership between two or more organizations
·         provide evidence of sustainability

In 2015, Illinois American Water issued six grants totaling $23,515 to the following organizations:
- The Stream Discovery Released in the East program received a $5,000 grant.  The program, which is administered by the National Great River Research and Education Center in Alton fills a void in today’s education by providing teachers with tools to engage and educate students about aquatic resources.  Students participate in hands-on stream monitoring and research.  The program was expanded to include classrooms in the Champaign and Lincoln areas.
- The Hickory Creek Watershed Bio-Blitz project received a $2,915 grant to conduct a one-day aquatic assessment where community volunteers within Hickory Creek watershed will team up with biologists to help collect and sort macro invertebrate.  More than 100 attendees participated, including K-12 students via pre and post-blitz lesson plans.
- The Peoria Art Guild’s Rainwater Revival received their requested grant of $2,500 in full.  The Rainwater Revival project addresses Peoria’s sewer system overflow concerns.  The Peoria Art Guild will collaborate with area schools to create unique artistic rain basin collection systems to reduce water fun off in downtown Peoria, raise awareness and implement an innovative use of water in Peoria.
- The Peoria Riverfront Museum received a $4,100 grant for an Education Garden project. The 1,500 square foot garden is used during summer camp, summer classes and programming during the weekly Riverfront Market on Saturday mornings.
- The City of South Beloit received a $4,000 grant for the community’s Meet Me at the Confluence 2 project.  This the second phase of a project that began last year to remove invasive species along Turtle Creek.  The restoration project demonstrates the City’s commitment to realizing the vision of the Confluence as a focus for natural education and restoration of native ecosystems.
- The Conservation Technology Information Center received a $5,000 grant for the Indian Creek Watershed project which focuses on a farming in watersheds.  A series of success story vignettes were produced to educate on successful conservation systems including benefits, data and insight from leading farmers on adopting priority best practices in real-world situations.

Grant information and application forms can be found online at  Applications must be postmarked by April 1, 2016, and mailed to Karen Cotton at Illinois American Water, 7500 North Harker Drive, Peoria, Illinois 61615 or emailed to E-mail is preferred.


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