The 2008 Aux Sable Watershed Management Plan identifies a number of potential funding sources for projects.  Due to program requirements, no one source may fit each project.  Some sources are a cost share where there has to be some other source paying for a part of the project in conjunction with the grant.  Most sources allow the applicant to search for multiple sources of funding for a single project to help lower the cost for the landowner(s).  Following are some of those resources that may be more applicable to projects in the watershed that can have a direct benefit to water quality.


Partners for Conservation Program (formerly C-2000)

The goal of the program is to provide funding for projects that maintain and enhance ecological and economic conditions.  Funding for projects are awarded on a competitive basis to applicants from designated ecosystem partnership areas (resource economics, habitat, outreach, research, or capital).  The Aux Sable Creek watershed is part of the Prairie Parklands Ecosystem Partnership.  Applications are typically due in late February, although many processes start the previous November or December since applications should be completed through a watershed group or other local partnership.  Contact Prairie Parklands Ecosystem Partnership for information on their grant assistance and review schedule.


Partners for Conservation Program

Another funding avenue of the Partners for Conservation Program is through the Illinois Department of Agriculture.  It provides funding for the following agriculture-related programs: the sustainable agriculture grant program, the conservation practices cost-share program, the stream bank stabilization and restoration program, and the soil and water conservation district grants program.  If you are interested in more information on how it might apply to your property, contact the Resource Conservationist at your local Soil and Water Conservation District: Kendall County (630) 553-5821 ext. 3, Grundy County (815) 942-0359 ext. 3.


Forestry Development Act Program

This program offers financial incentives to implement forest management practices that protect and enhance forest resources.  The cost share program reimburses eligible landowners for a portion of their costs for the preparation of forest management and tree planting plans, reforestation, forest improvement practices, fencing to exclude livestock, firebreaks, and other management practices.  Applications are typically due in late February,

Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Program (OSLAD)

This program is a state-financed grant program that provides funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and/or development of land for public parks and open space.  Projects vary from small neighborhood parks or tot lots to large community and county parks and nature areas.  The application deadline is July 1 annually.

Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)

The LWCF is a federally funded program, managed by the state that provides funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and/or development of land for public parks and open space.  This program is similar to OSLAD and reviews run concurrently with the OSLAD funding cycle.  The application deadline is July 1 annually.

Illinois Habitat Fund Grant Program

Illinois Habitat Fund Grant Program, eligible projects are limited to those seeking to preserve, protect, acquire or manage habitat (all wetlands, woodlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands, natural or altered) in Illinois that have the potential to support wildlife. Eligible recipients include not-for-profit organizations or government agencies that are experienced and able to meet the State’s requirements.  Eligible projects include those that have permission from the landowner (if applicable) to develop and/or manage habitat.  Application deadline is August 1.

Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund

The Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund Grant Program is designed to preserve, protect, perpetuate and enhance non-game wildlife and native plant resources of Illinois.  Projects proposed for grant funding must focus on management, site inventories or education. Application deadline is April 1.

Trees, Shrubs, and Seedlings at No Cost Program

This program encourages the reforestation of land by private landowners to increase wildlife habitat and erosion control function. The program provides seedlings at no cost to landowners who have an Illinois Department of Natural Resources approved management plan.


Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)

The Wetlands Reserve Program is a voluntary program offering landowners the opportunity to protect, restore, and enhance wetlands on their property.  This program offers landowners an opportunity to establish long-term conservation and wildlife practices and protection. Contact the District Conservationist at your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for more information: Kendall County (630) 553-5821 ext. 3, Grundy County (815) 942-0359 ext. 3.

Grassland Reserve Program (GRP)

GRP is a voluntary program that helps landowners restore and protect grassland, rangeland, pastureland, shrubland, and certain other types of lands as well as provides assistance for rehabilitation or enhancement of those lands.  Contact the District Conservationist at your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for more information: Kendall County (630) 553-5821 ext. 3, Grundy County (815) 942-0359 ext. 3.

Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP)

WHIP helps landowners develop and improve wildlife habitat primarily on private lands.  It provides assistance to establish and improve fish and wildlife habitat.  Contact the District Conservationist at your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) for more information: Kendall County (630) 553-5821 ext. 3, Grundy County (815) 942-0359 ext. 3.

North American Wetlands Conservation Act

The act provides financial assistance for on-the-ground projects which include acquisition, restoration, creation, or enhancement of wetlands and wetland associated uplands.  Partnerships are encouraged and conservation easements are required to protect the land from future development.  Application deadlines vary.  Contact the Division of Bird Habitat Conservation at (703) 358-1784 or for more information.

Challenge Cost-Share and Flex-Funding Grants

Small grants are awarded for habitat work or applied research.  They typically call for proposals in late summer/early autumn.  Grants range from $2,500-$10,000.  A 50% in-kind or cash contribution by applicant is strongly encouraged. 

Partners for Fish and Wildlife

The mission of this program is to efficiently achieve voluntary habitat restoration on private lands, through financial and technical assistance, for the benefit of Federal Trust Species.  The program provides financial assistance for the restoration of degraded wetlands and other important fish and wildlife habitats such as grasslands, streams, and riparian habitats.  Technical assistance is also provided for the design of the restoration plans.  Most participants are individual private landowners.  It requires a minimum 50% cost share from the individual and is continuously awarded on a first come/first served basis.  Typical amounts awarded are $500-$5,000.


Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation

The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation invests in clean energy development and land preservation efforts, working with communities and citizens to improve environmental quality in Illinois. The Foundation supports programs and projects that will improve energy efficiency, develop renewable energy resources and preserve and enhance natural areas and wildlife habitats throughout the state.  Letters of intent accepted in mid January and mid July.  Grant amounts can vary and can be fairly large.

Grand Victoria Foundation

Grand Victoria Foundation supports 501(c)(3) public charities or certified public institutions that: reduce and prevent pollution; preserve, restore, expand and connect natural lands and waterways; implement best land use practices; and increase public awareness of and participation in these issues.  Letters of intent are accepted the 1st Fridays in May and October.  Grants typically range from $15,000 to $200,000.

Vital Lands 

New program in 2009!  It is a subset of Grand Victoria Foundation.  This grant program focuses solely on strategic land preservation in Illinois by organizations that have adopted the Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices.  It offers a streamlined grant process for pre-approved organizations that propose preservation of areas identified by the grant, typically lands connected or part of a plan versus isolated areas.  Applications accepted on a rolling basis.  Grants will vary.


Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation

The Foundation fosters the conservation and stewardship of land in a natural condition in the Chicago region.  This is done by funding organizations and projects that preserve, restore and protect strategic lands that contribute to the health of the regional ecosystem or projects/programs that build and support constituencies that value and engage in land stewardship.   Proposals accepted tri-annually, see website for details.  Grant amounts vary.