Illinois American Water gives grants to water-protection projects

From Illinois Business Journal news services

BELLEVILLE – Illinois American Water is providing grants to six watershed initiatives across the state, including one in the Alton area.

The funding is through the company’s 2015 Environmental Grant Program. The recipients will receive a share of grant funds totaling $23,515 for community projects that improve, restore or protect watersheds.

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 East 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 will be expanded to include classrooms in the Champaign and Lincoln areas.

Other funded projects:

– 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. The species will later be identified by professional aquatic biologists. More than 100 attendees are expected, including K-12 students via pre and post-blitz lesson plans.

– The Peoria Art Guild’s Rainwater Revival project will receive 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 project aims to educate children on the importance of native plants to surface water protection and river bank erosion. The 1,500-square-foot garden will be 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 will receive a $5,000 grant for the Indian Creek Watershed project which focuses on a farming in watersheds. A series of success story vignettes will be produced to educate on successful conservation systems including benefits, data and insight from leading farmers on adopting priority best practices in real-world situations.

To learn more about the Environmental Grant Program, visit www.illinoisamwater.com.

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