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How to Receive Cost Share Support

1: Schedule a free, no-obligation ecological assessment with Openlands.
Spend an hour walking your property with an Openlands ecologist to learn more about it. We will identify ecologically important features and the invasive species that threaten them and send you an Ecological Summary Report. To schedule an appointment, click here.

2: Review your Ecological Summary Report.
This will describe your property’s condition, including any ecologically high-quality or fragile areas, and identify high priority areas for invasive shrub and tree removal. The report serves as a helpful tool as you reach out to contractors.

3: Seek proposals and select your contractor.
Reach out to one or more of the pre-qualified contractors below and solicit a proposal that meets your needs. Be sure to explain your specific interests and any restrictions (such as access routes, available work days, things you do not want done, and valuable items within the project area such as drainage systems, a favorite tree, or child’s play fort). You may solicit work beyond what is eligible for cost-share as long as the proposal clearly identifies the cost-share work as a separately priced line item. Contractors must include a map identifying the project area and adhere to our specifications.

Do not sign your chosen contractor’s proposal until Openlands approves your application.

Openlands will not reimburse any work 1) started prior to application approval, 2) done by the property owner, or 3) done by a contractor not listed below.

Tallgrass Restoration
2221 Hammond Drive
Schaumburg, IL
Doug DeWitt 847.925.9830
Tallgrassrestoration.com

Native Restoration Services
403 Rockland Road
Lake Bluff, IL
Ryan Stanley 847.450.8290
Nativerestorationservices.com

Integrated Lakes Management
110 Le Baron Street
Waukegan, IL
Lisa Woolford 847.244.6662
Ilmenvironments.com

4: Submit your application to Openlands.
Complete and sign the cost share application. Email it with a copy of your unsigned contractor proposal and project map to help@openlands.org. We will promptly review applications in the order received and email our approval/denial and reimbursement amount if approved.

5: If your application is approved, proceed with the work.
Sign and return your contractor’s proposal. Once the work is completed, inspect it for conformance with the proposal and, assuming your satisfaction, pay the contractor’s invoice.

6: Send proof of payment to Openlands.
Openlands will inspect the work site to ensure the project has been completed per the approved application and our specifications. We will process and mail your reimbursement check, generally within six weeks of receiving proof of payment, which we must receive by October 31, 2022.

7: Maintain the work for three years
Property owners must maintain the project area at their expense for three years. This means annually cutting and/or herbiciding new invasive growth that may occur from seeds in the soil or re-sprouting of the cut plants. Property owners may do this maintenance work themselves or use any contractor of their choice. Openlands reserves the right to inspect project areas to confirm maintenance. If the property owner fails to maintain the work, they must pay back all cost share monies received.

View answers to Frequently Asked Questions or contact Mary Fortmann at 312.863.6286 or help@openlands.org.