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Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant

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

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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

Deadline Date:

11/30/18 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/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.

​Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat Action Grant applicants must use native Illinois plants in their wildlife habitat area.

Option One:

Option One of this grant may only be used to establish a pollinator garden. It must be developed following the criteria stated in the instructions and application form.

Funding requests for Option One grants may only include the following items: plants (not seeds) of the 14 native plant species shown in this application form; mulch, topsoil or related soil product; and lumber/hardware for raised planting beds, if applicable. No other items will be considered for purchase through this option.

Option Two:

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. Vegetable gardens are not eligible for this grant.

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

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, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Teachers, nature center personnel and youth group leaders (grades prekindergarten through 12) in Illinois may apply.

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 1-800-641-3934 for further information.

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

Items purchased prior to the notification of the grant award winners from this Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant application deadline (November 30, 2018) do not qualify for funding.

Illinois Conservation Foundation sites and Illinois Department of Natural Resources sites do not qualify for funding.

Admission fees cannot be charged to obtain access to the site.

Pre-Application Information:

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, 2018. You will be notified by email of any of these common errors and given until November 30, 2018, to submit revisions. If you do not submit the revisions by the final deadline, your application will be disqualified. No one is required to submit their application for the preliminary review. This procedure is entirely voluntary.

The final application packet must be postmarked by November 30, 2018.

All applicants will be notified by February 1, 2019.

Funds are provided on a reimbursement basis.

More information concerning Option One may be found here:


Listen to the Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant podcast for helpful hints:

Or view a text version here:

Option One Tutorial Podcasts:

Option Two Tutorial Podcasts:

Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Learning Standards:

Developing a Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat Podcasts:

To see lists of Illinois native plants, visit:

Contact Information:

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

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


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Illinois