While eligible applications for projects that meet the regular Program Guidelines will be accepted, special consideration will be given to project applications that demonstrate climate resiliency and/or pollinator conservation.
ComEd and Openlands are committed to a greener future by focusing on climate resiliency.
Recent international research and reports on climate change tell us that we are at a tipping point and action must be taken to ensure a sustainable future. In the upper Midwest region, we are seeing warmer temperatures in air and water, asynchronous changes in pollination and food availability as the seasons change, more rainfall leading to flooding, and habitat changes as species become more stressed. Solutions must address and integrate both equity and climate action for systemic change to succeed over time.
For the ComEd Green Region Grant Program, a climate resiliency project is one that focuses on nature-based solutions to mitigate climate change.
Examples of nature-based solution projects include, but are not limited to projects that:
- Increase biodiversity and create habitat for wetlands and grasslands systems of concern. Examples: restore wetlands, savanna ecosystems, or prairies; plant pollinator gardens; install bug hotels; install proper landscape structure (over story canopy, shrub layer, and native plants).
- Protect water quality and manage water where it falls. Examples: build rain gardens, bioswales, or underground cisterns and french drains; plant climate resistant trees; replace non-porous surfaces with permeable surfaces.
- Build healthy soil. Examples: plant deep rooted, climate resilient prairie species to sequester carbon; promote mycorrhizal and macroinvertebrate development within the soil for proper structure, composition.
- Your project: you tell us how you can mitigate climate change through conservation, restoration and improved land management actions with a nature-based solution in your community’s public, open space.
ComEd and Openlands recognize the importance of conserving pollinators, supporting their habitat, and protecting pollinator-dependent plants and food crops.
Three-fourths of the world’s flowering plants and about 35 percent of global food crops depend on animal pollinators – such as bees, butterflies, moths, birds, bats, beetles, and other insects – to thrive. In fact, some scientists estimate that one out of every three bites of food that we eat exists because of pollinators. Threats posed by habitat loss, disease, parasites, climate change, and environmental contaminants have all contributed to the global decline of many pollinator species.
For the ComEd Green Region Grant Program, a pollinator conservation project is one that shows a demonstrable benefit to the pollinator population.
Examples of demonstrable benefits for pollinator conservation include, but are not be limited to projects that establish or enhance pollinator habitat, and projects that incorporate interpretation components, such as educational site signage, that inform the public about pollinators and pollinator conservation.