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Illinois American Water offers annual environmental grants

Deadline is March 29, 2021

Illinois American Water is accepting applications for the company’s 2021 Environmental Grant Program. The program provides funding of up to $10,000 to innovative, community-based projects.

For over a decade, Illinois American Water has awarded environmental grants to diverse initiatives across Illinois.

According to Illinois American Water President Justin Ladner, more than $247,000 has been contributed to 74 projects since the program began in 2009.

“At Illinois American Water we know how precious our water resources are, and we want to do our part to protect the environment,” he said. “Our efforts include green practices like recycling, using solar to generate power, partnering with farmers to apply residuals and biosolids, wise water use education, and more. We are excited to also partner with local environmental heroes to improve, protect, and restore watersheds.”

Past projects supported by Illinois American Water’s environmental grant program have included watershed cleanups, reforestation efforts, biodiversity projects, streamside buffer restoration projects, wellhead protection initiatives, hazardous waste collection efforts, water protection education efforts, and more.

To apply for an Environmental Grant, an organization’s project must take place in an Illinois American Water service area. The project must also:

– Address a source water or watershed protection need in the community.
– Be completed between May 1, 2021, and Nov. 30, 2021.
– Introduce a new community initiative or serve as a significant expansion to an existing program.
– Be carried out by a formal or informal partnership between two or more organizations.
– Provide evidence of sustainability (continued existence after grant monies are utilized).

Grant information and application forms can be found at under the News & Community tab. Applications should be emailed to by March 29, 2021.

Last year, Illinois American Water awarded eight grants totaling over $25,000 as follows:

– Bolingbrook Park District received a $3,500 grant for the Phase IV DuPage River and Hidden Lakes Bank Stabilization and Habitat Enforcement Project to purchase native plugs and coconut logs to absorb water flow and sediment.
– Champaign County Environmental Stewards received a $1,067 grant to expand the limited battery
collection process in Champaign County.
– Conservation Foundation in Naperville received a $5,000 grant to work with the DuPage and Will County Forest Preserves to strategically place signs, pet waste bags and trash cans. This effort prevents waste from entering local water ways.
– Friends of Fox River received a $2,500 grant to support expanding water quality education and story
mapping projects by creating stream guides.
– Nature at the Confluence in South Beloit received a $3,700 grant for environmental improvement efforts in the Rock River watershed by cleaning the river and creek banks. Signage for the Kelly Creek watershed was installed and a new public use trail was constructed.
– Peoria Park District received an $860 grant to support the Illinois River Sweep. Funds were used to supply gloves, trash bags, dumpsters, and tire recycling.
– St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Peoria received a $5,000 grant to support efforts to decrease storm water
runoff. By building a rain garden and butterfly sanctuary the group will help decrease storm water runoff.
– Urbana Park District received a $4,000 grant to support the Meadowbrook Park Habitat Enhancement and Floodplain Prairie Expansion Project.

Ladner said, “Everyone has the ability to positively impact their local watershed and source water. Some of our greatest water savers are our young customers who turn off the water when brushing their teeth and remind their parents to do the same. Everyone can be an environmental hero.”

PHOTO: A poster by Evelynn Ahlvers, fourth-grader at Holy Family School, Granite City, one of this year’s winners of the Illinois American Water annual art contest to illustrate the importance of reliable water service. Entries were open to third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students. The winning artwork can be viewed at on Illinois American Water’s Facebook page.


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