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Applications being accepted for projects in Silver Creek watershed

heartlandsilvercreekwatershedA second sign-up period is now open for landowners to apply for funding to put toward watershed improvement projects in the Upper Silver Creek watershed.

The Upper Silver Creek watershed is the 120,000-acre area that drains to Silver Creek above the Madison-St. Clair county line. The watershed is mostly located in Madison County, but also includes areas in Macoupin and Montgomery counties.

The Upper Silver Creek Watershed Plan, developed with assistance from local watershed stakeholders, is a roadmap to addressing water quality and flooding problems in a strategic way in the watershed. The Plan recommends several voluntary practices for individuals, communities, and counties to implement across the watershed. The Illinois EPA 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Control grant awarded to HeartLands Conservancy in 2016 is designed to help implement certain Best Management Practices (BMPs) recommended in the watershed plan. HeartLands Conservancy is seeking landowners to sign up to install these BMPs, using the new funds as a cost share.

Eligible projects are grassed waterways, ponds, terraces, and Water and Sediment Control Basins. These projects will improve water quality and reduce the impacts of local or downstream flooding to some extent.

The first sign-up period in October 2016 yielded upwards of 40 applications, several of which were for the same project. It is hoped that this second sign-up period will attract applicants who can use the remainder of the funds towards highly effective ponds and other projects.

The grant will reimburse a portion of construction costs spent on selected projects.

Unfortunately, not all projects can be funded. Projects will be selected based on their pollutant reduction, cost, stormwater management impact, and other criteria.

To find out if your property is in the watershed, view the watershed map available at https://www.heartlandsconservancy.org/uppersilvercreek.php.

This sign-up period closes on Feb. 28. To sign up to implement a project, fill in the application at www.surveymonkey.com/r/uppersilvercreek319, or fill out and mail in the application available at https://www.heartlandsconservancy.org/uppersilvercreek.php.

For more information about the cost share program, please contact project manager Janet Buchanan at HeartLands Conservancy at (618) 566-4451 ext 25 or email janet.buchanan@heartlandsconservancy.org .

Project partners are Illinois EPA, Madison County Planning and Development, the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Midwest Streams, Inc.

HeartLands Conservancy, a nonprofit serving Southwestern Illinois since 1989, is devoted to the conservation of land, the preservation of green spaces, and sustainable and environmentally friendly community planning.

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