Grant News: Funds to help restoration at Green River Lowlands Preserve

Illinois Audubon Society has received a challenge grant for stewardship work at Gremel Nature Preserve: A Legacy Project of Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. In less than a month, members of the Birdsong Chapter and Starved Rock Audubon Society stepped forward and we have reached our goal to raise $7,000. to qualify for the maximum match amount of $21,000 from the Foundation.

As a successful recipient of this grant, we are also eligible for an additional $6,000 upon completion of 400 hours of volunteer stewardship on the focus area.  There is no doubt that the dedicated volunteer stewards at Green River Lowlands Preserve will reach this next challenge as well. Interested in joining a workday? Contact Deb Carey here.

Combining our member’s donations, Foundation match, volunteer hours and additional funds for equipment, this grant will provide up to $32,000 in funds.

The long-term goal at Gremel Nature Preserve is to enhance and maintain sustainable habitat for native plants and animals. The focus area for the grant is an Illinois Natural Area Inventory (INAI) sedge meadow that is suffering from an encroachment of non-native woody shrubs competing with native wetland plants for space, sunlight and water. These non-natives also make the areas uninviting to some of our animal species,such as Blanding’s turtle, who find it impossible to travel through these multiple-stemmed, invasive shrubs. Our birds will benefit too when insect populations increase as the diversity and quality of native plant species is improved.

We are grateful to the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation for their continued support in land protection and restoration assistance.

INAI Sedge Meadow at Gremel Nature Preserve photo by Deb Walens (Birdsong Chapter/Starved Rock Audubon Society)

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