Congratulations to the 2020 ComEd Green Region Grantees:
- Lake Carroll Water Conservation and Pollinator Habitat Initiative (Lake Carroll Association): This project will provide water quality improvements through the use of native vegetation. This is a highly visible public space, and it will bring awareness of the need of pollinator plants for overall environmental health to a large number of visitors annually.
- Pollinator Park at Hillcrest Lake in Prospect Heights (City of Prospect Heights): This project will replace the 3 acre site that surrounds Hillcrest lake with a native pollinator park by creating riparian buffers, rich in bio-diversity that incorporates a trail network and interpretative signage.
- Beautify the Crossroads of the Midwest (Village of Dolton): This project will improve a dilapidated parcel of land in Dolton by beautifying the Crossroads of the Midwest by pollinating the land with flowers, plants, bushes and trees.
- Prescribed Burn & Community Outreach Program (Village of Northbrook): This project will complete prescribed burns of native landscaping located on Village and Park District properties to improve the vitality of the native landscapes and wildlife. Simultaneously, the proposers seek to develop educational programming and materials on native landscape care and how to connect to the proposers’ existing programs.
- Village Butterfly Gardens (Village of La Grange Park): This project will construct multiple butterfly gardens in La Grange Park all with in the village limits. This project will utilize village owned green spaces to enhance awareness and education about pollinators and also help beautify our existing green spaces.
- The Triangle Pollinator Habitat (City of Hickory Hills): This project will transform an unused area of turf grass into an established pollinator habitat. This habitat will support native pollinator species, educational signage and a public passive recreational area.
- 2020 Native Habitats (Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District): This project aims to convert 22.5 acres of mowed turf grass to native habitat at Hopkins Park and Rotary Park in DeKalb, Illinois. The native habitats will be established to provide habitat for pollinators, as well as other wildlife, and to educate the public on the importance of pollinator conservation.
- Turf to Meadow Demonstration Project (DuPage County Stormwater Management: This project will convert 0.75 acres of turf into a native meadow in a high-profile location, location on its campus in Wheaton, IL. In addition to supporting pollinators, this demonstration project will educate the campus’ more than 1 million annual visitors on alternative options to traditional turf grass.
- Maryknoll – Interpretive Pollinator Garden and Turf to Pollinator Prairie (Glen Ellyn Park District): This project will enhance pollinators at two locations in Maryknoll Park. A garden at the entry will be enhanced and expanded with pollinator container plants. Turf in the park will be converted to a pollinator prairie.
- Bartlett Creek Restoration Project (Village of Bartlett): This project will remove invasive weeds along the Creek and replanting with pollinators and native species to promote pollinating species and creek stabilization
- Tuscany Woods Pollinator Meadow (Hampshire Township Park District): This project will establish its first natural area as a pollinator meadow at the Park at Tuscany Woods to create a native habitat in a developing community and to provide public education on the importance of pollinator species.
- Farming with Pollinators: A Growing for Kane Project (Kane County): This project will support more fruit and vegetable production in a conservation setting. A Farm Pollinator Plan will be created to illustrating how farm and farm-adjacent properties can best include pollinator conservation space and practices. It will inform farm policies and practices in Kane and the region.
- Gray Willows Farm Pollinator Habitat Improvement (Campton Township Parks/Open Space): This project will support this ongoing effort to restore new habitat and enhance restored areas by providing essential native plants and seed.
- Pollinator Meadows Across Kane County (Forest Preserve District of Kane County): This project will transition 22 acres of former mowed turf spread out across five preserves to pollinator habitat. This effort will aid in the creation of natural corridors and promote pollinator awareness and education.
- Rusty Patched Bumble Bee Habitat Recovery and Community Outreach Project (Kendall County Forest Preserve District): This project will build on efforts to enhance pollinator habitat within the population’s high-probability zone for occurrence within two forest preserve areas. Kendall County’s only documented local population of the federally endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis) is located at Hoover and Fox River Bluffs Forest Preserves.
- Pollinator Project at Neville Park (Foss Park District): This project will establish a portion of one of our parks as a pollinator habitat for beneficial insects. This project will include signage to be installed to educate the public on pollinators and pollinator conservation.
- Native Restoration of Tower Lakes Nature Preserve (Village of Tower Lakes): This project will restore the 17-acre Tower Lakes Nature Preserve to eliminate invasive trees and brush to then seed native plants. Restoring the area that includes Oak Groves, Prairie and Wetlands will encourage pollinators, as well as provide a home for native creatures to thrive, also allowing residents to learn.
- Butterfly Garden (Village of Deer Park): This project will transform our existing Butterfly Garden situated on our anchor community park, Vehe Farm Park.
- Urban Pollinator Conservation in Waukegan (City of Waukegan): This project will establish multiple native pollinator gardens in Waukegan: along a block of Sheridan Road, along a trail by the lakefront, and at the “Welcome to Waukegan” signs. Interpretive signage will be installed to explain the importance and significance of urban pollinator conservation.
- Everts Park Rain Garden and Native Wildflower Plantings (City of Highwood): This project will incorporate pollinator attracting wildflowers and shrubs into beds, and a rain garden, as part of the renovation of Everts Park. The planting beds will attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. Educational signage describing the plantings and gardening methods is also planned to encourage region wide implementation.
- Whippoorwill Park Pollinator Gardens (Village of Mettawa): This project will enhance Whippoorwill Park, one of the most visited and easy accessible Mettawa parks with pollinator gardens.
- Edgewater Drive Rain Garden (City of Crystal Lake): This project will convert a parcel of City-owned property into a rain garden using native vegetation.
- Village Hall Rain garden and Bee Habitat (Village of Port Barrington): This project will create a rain garden, vegetative swale and butterfly/bee habit to educate the public about the importance of conservation with aesthetic benefits.
- Pearl City Prairie Project (Village of Pearl City): This project will develop native prairie plantings with walking paths for a vacant property on Main Street. The native prairie will establish pollinator habitats where none existed before. The project will also include a parking area and a walking bridge.
- Ben Miller Park Improvements (Village of German Valley): This project will update its aging park with a new playground and memorial butterfly garden.
- Heritage Knolls Naturalization Project (Frankfort Park District): This project will naturalize a 3/4 acre area along the existing trail.
Congratulations to the 2019 ComEd Green Region Grantees:
- Pollinator Habitat Establishment at Sewell Conservation Area (Boone County Conservation District): This project will establish 17 acres of new habitat that will benefit pollinators and conservation area visitors for years to come. This 17-acre agricultural conversion is part of a 200-acre conservation area that will become a high-quality wetland within the Kishwaukee River watershed in northern Illinois.
- Parkways for Pollinators (Village of River Forest- Sustainability Commission): This project will transform resident parkways into native plant oases which mitigate flooding through deep root natives, provide habitats for butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators, expand the Village’s Native Garden Corridor, involve families in fun planting activities, and educates residents about the benefits of natural garden and lawn care.
- Village of Palos Park Pollinator Garden Project (Village of Palos Park): This project will convert part of its Centennial Park into a pollinator garden, with emphasis on native plants providing food and habitat for pollinators. Informational Kiosk, benches, and water features included to inform visitors of the garden’s ecological importance and create a relaxing ambiance.
- Increasing Plant Biodiversity to Support Pollinators at West Pullman Park Natural Area (Chicago Park District): This project will improve the West Pullman Park Natural Area for people and wildlife through: (1) the installation of native woody and herbaceous plants that will increase biodiversity and provide an abundance of food sources for pollinators; and (2) the installation of interpretive signage to explain the impacts of the improved habitat conditions.
- Kelly Park Accessible (ADA) Improvements (Village of Orland Hills):This project will provide access from the Kelly Park Walking Pathway to two new asphalt sectional pathways which continue to two paved gazebos/picnic shelters. Under each paved gazebo, new ADA-accessible picnic tables will be installed. The Kelly Park Accessible Improvements are designed to increase accessibility for all patrons to enjoy the park areas.
- Clock Tower Park Expansion (Village of Schiller Park): This project will be an expansion of Clock Tower Park which is located in the heart of Schiller Park. This expansion includes a pollinator demonstration garden, rain garden, playground equipment and enhanced landscaping. The project is designed to offer residents additional leisure opportunities.
- Maine Park Pollinator Garden (Park Ridge Park District): This project will revitalize the main entrance to our Maine Park Leisure Center and Preschool. The improvements include: the installation of a pollinator garden with two educational signs. The pollinator garden will include themed hardscape and native plants selected to attract pollinators. The intent is to provide a habitat for pollinator species utilizing a balance of host plants, nectar plants and shelter plants, increase awareness and interest in pollinator gardens, as well as provide an educational opportunity for our students and patrons through signage and potential future programming.
- Canoe Launch Access Road and Trail Improvements (City of Genoa): This project will provide a paved trail that connects Citizens Park to additional nature trails, native prairies, wetlands and the County’s Forest Preserve. The paved access road would also provide a better road surface for vehicles and pedestrians when accessing the canoe launch and adjacent amenities in Citizens Park.
- Glenbriar Park Phase II (Butterfield Park District): This project will complete the second and final phase of a park project entitled, Glenbriar Park Expansion. This land has already been acquired and prepared for development, and the grant will support installation of a shelter, looped walking trails, and a pollinator garden.
- Pollinator Habitat Garden at Terrace View Park (Lombard Park District): transform an area of Terrace View Park into a pollinator habitat that will educate visitors on the significance of Illinois native plants and the pollinators that love them. Improvements include native plantings, an educational kiosk and signage to empower visitors to partake in this conservation mission and vision.
- Doerhoffer and Whitlock Park Detention Area Plantings (Downers Grove Park District): This project will involve taking two currently mowed detention basins and converting them to native vegetation. Project will include initial herbicide applications, installation of native seed, installation of native plugs and interpretive signage. Benefits include eliminating mowing, enhanced habitat, improved water quality, educational opportunities and opportunity for passive park uses.
- Winfield Riverwalk-Wetland Restoration & Pollinator Conservation (Village of Winfield): This project will reform an unused space into an enjoyable and accessible amenity in Winfield township. The wetland / pollinator area is a key element within the total project. Located along the recently completed West Branch DuPage River Trail, the Riverwalk will be fully accessible and offer numerous amenities to all visitors and families including educational opportunities and enjoyment of the natural habitat.
- Restoration Along The Fox River In Downtown Aurora (City of Aurora): This project will restore native flora along the Fox River, creating a buffer between the river and adjacent impervious pavements, especially public parking lots. The restored site will intercept surface runoff, reducing pollutants flowing into the river, and will provide a habitat for native species of birds and insect pollinators.
- Fox Valley Park District Pollinator Recovery Project (Fox Valley Park District): This project will expand pollinator habitat and food sources while increasing regional native vegetation presence. The Stuart Sports Complex portion of the project will connect existing prairie by converting 19.7 acres of turf grass into native wildflower enriched prairie crucial to our pollinators’ survival.
- Otter Creek Bend Wetland Habitat Restoration (St. Charles Park District): This project will create a prairie ecosystem on a slope overlooking the wetland, providing habitat for pollinators and other wildlife and greater public visibility of the wetland. It will include invasive species removal and native plant installation in portions of the 69-acre Otter Creek Bend Park.
- Ashcroft Lake Native Shoreline Restoration (Oswegoland Park District): This project will restore the exposed mud flats of a lowered lake water table per village requirements, we will re-establish emergent, water level and upland areas around the lake with native plugs and seed. We will be utilizing a volunteer steward group and staff as well as in house grown native plants and collected native seed.
- Hastings Butterfly Path (Village of Lindenhurst): This project will enable public access to Lake County Forest Preserve District’s Hastings Lake preserves via a connective trail bordered by native plants. This pathway will benefit the community as well as pollinators by extending the forest preserve’s green corridor.
- Healthy Hedges to Replace Buckthorn – Old Barrington Road (Village of Lake Barrington): This project will demonstrate an alternative to buckthorn, encouraging residents to do the same on their private property. Buckthorn has been linked with declining populations of songbirds and the disappearance of native ecosystems. Removing and replacing buckthorn with native trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers will provide habitat to support wildlife.
- Restoration and Transformation: The Making of a Local Arboretum from a Forgotten Park (Village of Lake Zurich): This project will direct resources into a vastly underutilized 7.8 acre village park to rebrand the space as a conservation arboretum, with a focus on three things: oak preservation, invasive species, and the importance of pollinators. The Village will work with community volunteers and non-profit organizations to rehabilitate an abandoned walking trail, remove invasive buckthorn and huckleberry, install pollinator vegetation, picnic tables, benches, and three interpretive-learning kiosk stations with individual play-pocket areas. The Village will also install a new entry sign for “Kuechmann Arboretum.”
- Round Lake Invasive Plant Remediation and Native Plant Improvement Project (The Village of Round Lake): This project will remove invasive species and repopulate with Native Plants to create educational opportunities, enhance public spaces and increase pollinator habitats.
- Pollinators for Park Pointe (City of Harvard): This project will restore a portion of one of our parks to a natural and native pollinator park. This project will be beneficial in helping to promote an educational outdoor experience for the community as a whole.
- Woods Creek Headwaters Pollinator Project (Village of Algonquin): This project will improve the ecological health of 6 acres of sedge meadow wetlands for the benefit of native pollinator species via invasive phragmites removal, native sedge meadow interseeding, and public education.
- Northwest Illinois Aerial Combat Memorial (Village of Lena): This project will support improvements to a local military memorial park, including the addition of an F-4 Phantom jet on a pylon as the park’s centerpiece. Other improvements will include brick walkways, trees, grass, bushes, benches, a flagpole, didactic placards, light standards, and a three-foot brick wall along the back.
- Village of Romeoville’s Wetland Pollinator Initiative (Village of Romeoville Parks & Recreation Department): This project will convert degraded wetlands and stormwater management basins into diverse native plant communities. These areas expand critical habitat and food sources for pollinators while increasing regional native wetland presence. Volunteer Park’s 1.34 acre detention basin is the next project location.
- Lily Cache Beneficial Insect and Pollinator Habitat Restoration Project (Bolingbrook Park District): This project will involve the development of six pods ranging in size from .25 to 2 acres. These areas will be restored with the focus of providing essential habitat for the life cycle completion of native beneficial insects and pollinators.
- Rock River Parks and Open Space Plan (Village of Machesney Park): This project will create a parks and open space plan for 63 acres along the Rock River, in Machesney Park.
Congratulations to the 2018 ComEd Green Region Grantees:
- Maple Crest Nursing Home Walking Area (County of Boone): This project will create a walking/exercise area for residents at the Maple Crest Nursing Home. An open space exists on Boone County-owned land north of the facility that would be modified with landscaping and prairie grass, complete with a walking path and benches.
- Pollinator Support through Oak Restoration at Irons Oaks (Homewood Flossmoor Park District – Irons Oaks): This project will result in habitat improvement and pollinator protection. This project aims to plant and protect young oak trees and educate visitors about the importance of oak forests for pollinator support.
- Pollinator Habitat Improvement Along the North Shore Channel (City of Evanston): This project will help establish pollinator habitat in public lands bordering the North Shore Channel: Evanston’s Ladd Arboretum, Harbert Park and Twiggs Park. It will increase recreational and educational opportunities for the community, while providing critical habitat for birds and other pollinators.
- Pollinator Habitat and River Landing (Village of Northfield): This project will include the removal of invasive species and planting of a native pollinator garden along a segment of the Chicago River adjacent to the North Branch Trail. It will improve the area with an ADA-compliant boardwalk and landing with educational signage to immerse visitors in the pollinator habitat.
- Riverside’s Nature By Design (Village of Riverside): This project will boost Riverside’s natural resources to become a destination for wildlife and wildlife watchers alike.
- A Plan for Monarchs and Public Gardens in Glenview (Village of Glenview): This project will include four key, high-visibility public monarch butterfly gardens that will expand and connect a growing habitat network throughout the Village of Glenview. In conjunction, a research-based monarch conservation plan and a supportive review of codes and ordinances will be completed with public participation, education, and events.
- Pollinator Meadows at Oak Forest Commuter Train Station (City of Oak Forest): This project will establish pollinator meadows and enhance Monarch butterfly habitat near our commuter train station. Educational signage will serve to inform the public about pollinators, pollinator conservation and provide links to additional resources available online.
- NeighborSpace: El Paseo Community Garden Expansion (Forest Preserve District of Cook County): This project will help to create an interpretive experience within the existing garden and along the proposed rails-to-trails path, El Paseo. The experience will include a permaculture site, prairie expansion, butterfly, bird, and bat houses, and beehives.
- Planting for Pollinators (Arlington Heights Park District): This project will rejuvenate the shores and natural areas of Lake Arlington with vast amounts of showy, colorful wildflowers, soft grasses, and tree canopies encompassing the lake for park users to enjoy while also providing habitat and increased water quality for wildlife.
- Muingan Park Development (Village of Waterman): This project continues the development of an open lot into a park. The final phase of development will include: additional plantings; a pavilion, sun dial and educational signs to promote STEM education; and resurfacing the walking path.
- Triangle Park Restoration Project (Woodridge Park District): This project includes 650 LF of stream remeandering, mowed walking trail spur from existing asphalt path, and conversion of 1.9 acres of turf into native plantings for pollinator habitat with construction of 0.5 of native wetland habitat from existing turf.
- Illinois Prairie Path History and Heritage Sign Initiative (County of DuPage – Division of Transportation): This project will install two educational and interactive trail signs. Each sign will highlight major accomplishments of the Path’s volunteers who helped inspire America’s Rails-to-Trails Movement – with the goal of reaching future generations of grass-roots environmental advocates.
- Pingree Grove Forest Preserve Park – Butterfly Garden (Village of Pingree Grove): This project will create an inspiring butterfly garden to serve as a gateway entrance to the trailhead of Pingree Grove Forest Preserve. It will transform the area of open grasslands and wetlands into a colorful oasis of flowers and natural habitat attracting pollinators to plants, and people to the park.
- Pollinators in the Parks (Village of Grant Park): This project will expand butterfly and pollinator garden areas, provide informational signs about pollinators and a seating/reading bench area in Heldt Park in the butterfly garden. It will also provide classes (pre-k to 3rd grade) on pollinators and gardens, and jobs for teens to care for planted areas and their pollinator inhabitants.
- Limestone Park Pollinator Bioswale (Limestone Township Park District): This project will convert a ditch that drains our baseball diamonds to a high diversity pollinator bioswale.
- Aunt Genevieve Pollinator Habitat (Village of Bradley): This project will use a donated parcel of land in the central part of the Village using a multi-phase process to establish a Pollinator Habitat, natural playground, community garden and nature area. It will include raised beds to establish pollinating plants to add to community greenspace and become an educational tool for the local communities.
- Brierwood Preserve – A Migratory Monarch Project (Village of Hawthorn Woods): This project will extend our habitat restoration work to the adjacent public wetland area and connect to a new 7-acre mono-culture wetland.
- The Gathering Place (Village of Hainesville): This project will convert a deteriorated prairie to a “Gathering Place’ to be a centrally located area for residents and the public to sit and enjoy the view of native trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers designed to attract butterflies and other pollinators.
- Riverwoods Village Hall Woodland Restoration Project (Village of Riverwoods): This project will promote the health of woodland pollinators via habitat enhancement and education of remnant oak woodlands and rare northern flatwoods. The project involves enhancing 4.7 acres of old growth oak woodlands and northern flatwoods by removing invasive shrubs/tree saplings.
- Ophir Park – Wetland Pollinator Planting Project (Zion Park District): This project will convert a previous playground and turf area into pollinator and naturalized garden space. Included in this project are educational signage and sitting benches. This project will create a more diverse habitat that will provide pollinators with resources needed to thrive.
- Leading the Way: Enhancing Suburban Pollinator Habitats (Village of Trout Valley): This project will provide additional pollinator habitat in a heavily developed suburban site by enhancing the quality of the buffer around an existing natural area, as well as install a Monarch Waystation to serve as an example to the public about helping pollinators in backyard habitat pockets.
- Ecological Restoration of Oakdale Nature Preserve (Freeport Park District): This project will remove invasive species from approximately 10 acres of native upland forest communities that provide habitat for native plant and animal species including cavity-nesting bird species and bats.
- Tallgrass Prairie Restoration at Prairie Bluff Preserve (Forest Preserve District of Will County): This project will establish native plants and control invasive plant species. Additionally, this restoration will provide a feeding ground and buffer habitat for the federally endangered Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly in the adjacent dolomite prairie preserve.
- Prairie Park Restoration (Village of Frankfort): This project will encourage the return of native plants and pollinators while removing invasive species. Public involvement will increase the visibility of the project, while educating visitors about the importance of native plants in our area.
- Pilcher Park – Reinvesting in Woodland Ecosystem Management (Joliet Park District): This project will re-establish a 640-acre pollinator habitat with stewardship will begin to heal the woodlands so that wildflowers, grasses, and sedges will flourish once again.
- Cedar Cliff Trailhead Pollinator Habitat (Forest Preserves of Winnebago County): This project will remove invasive trees and understory and establishment a shortgrass prairie along a small creek. The goal is to improve pollinator habitat, allow visitors to experience native prairie and improve site aesthetics.
Congratulations to the 2017 ComEd Green Region Grantees:
- Oak Lawn Community Garden Expansion (Oak Lawn Park District): This project will establish pollinator habitat at the Oak Lawn Community Garden to enhance the experience of garden visitors and support pollination for nearby community garden plots.
- Improving Palmisano Park for Pollinators and People (Chicago Park District Natural Areas Program): This project will improve Chicago’s Palmisano Park, with volunteers installing over 6,400 native plants to provide nectar and host plants for pollinators while contractors repair trails to increase site access.
- Green Bay Trail Habitat Restoration Project (Village of Glencoe): This project will support the ongoing implementation of the stewardship plan for areas along the Green Bay Trail in Glencoe, including removal of invasive and aggressive species and replanting native trees, shrubs flowers, grasses and sedges.
- Niles Pollinator Garden (Village of Niles): This project will transform an unused area of turf grass into a wildlife refuge and pollinator garden, supporting native pollinator species, offering educational signage, and creating an environmental sanctuary for community residents.
- Restoring Sedge Meadow (Village of South Barrington): This project will involve planting native sedges and wildflowers in areas of a former reed canary grass-dominated field, adjacent to a public pedestrian walking path, as part of a larger effort to eradicate invasive species in this area and reestablish native habitat.
- Proksa Park Butterfly Garden (Berwyn Park District): This project will reestablish pollinator habitat in the urban setting of Proksa Park and provide educational signage about pollinators.
- DeKalb Nature Trail Restoration (DeKalb Park District): This project involves developing and implementing a beautification plan for land adjacent to the DeKalb Nature Trail, including removing invasive species, installing native plantings, providing educational signage, and creating a habitat for birds, butterflies, and other pollinators.
- Communal Pollinator Garden at Belmont Train Station (Village of Downers Grove): This project will create a pollinator garden on Village-owned property adjacent to the Belmont Avenue train station, promoting long-term, community-based conservation initiatives with native plants and educational signage in this high visibility location.
- Pollinator Habitat Restoration at Night Heron Marsh Forest Preserve (Forest Preserve District of DuPage County): In conjunction with the regional Fox Valley Monarch Corridor project partnership to build a 975-acre pollinator habitat corridor, this project will restore 25 acres of wetland and prairie as part of a potential 76-acre pollinator habitat area.
- Village of Glen Ellyn Pollinator Meadow Mix Pilot Program (Village of Glen Ellyn): This project will improve storm water management, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and support sustainability for native plants and pollinators by replacing turf grass with pollinator meadow mix in various locations throughout the community.
- Richmond Community Gardens and Apiary Outdoor Classroom (Village of Westmont): This project will support bulding an outdoor classroom at the Richmond Education Gardens and Apiary, promoting educational programs about natural gardening, landscaping, the environment, and pollinator habitat.
- Poynor Park Pollinator Habitat Improvement (Campton Township Open Space): This project will convert approximately 12 acres of turf grass in Poyner Park, a well-used open space site, into native pollinator habitat with educational signage – expanding an established 65-acre prairie/wetland restoration and creating a buffer area around a pond.
- Henneberry Forest Preserve Tree Mitigation and Prairie Shrubland Restoration Project (Kendall County Forest Preserve District): This project will restore 45 acres of oak savanna and prairie shrubland habitat at Henneberry Forest Preserve, expanding pollinator and conservative grassland bird species habitat as part of the regional Fox Valley Monarch Corridor Project.
- Village of Green Oaks Dennis Dorsey Conservation Area – Northern Flatwoods, Oak/Hickory Woodland and Vernal Pond Restoration (Village of Green Oaks): This project will continue invasive species management activities, led by volunteer stewards, in a 5-year effort to restore globally-imperiled northern flatwoods and vernal pond habitat, oak/hickory woodland, and high-quality wetlands at the Dennis Dorsey Conservation Area.
- Pollinator Habitat and Edible Landscaping along the Robert McClory Bike Trail (City of Highland Park): This project will introduce pollinator habitat and urban food gleaning opportunities along the popular Robert McClory Bike Trail, by removing invasive species and planting native plants, fruit trees, woody shrubs, and berry bushes.
- Fremont Township Conservation Campus (Fremont Township): This project will create and promote a comprehensive “Conservation Campus” at a government center that was not originally designed for an open space focus – including habitat restoration, permaculture gardens, innovative stormwater management, and pollinator-friendly plantings along with walking paths and educational components.
- Farrington Connect the Corridor Project (Village of Buffalo Grove): This project will restore 0.5 acres of streambanks and buffer areas, 0.25 acres of wet bottom basin, 2 acres of dry bottom basin, and 1 acre of degraded woodland along Farrington Ditch, creating a continuous corridor between local parks and public lands that supports native habitat, wildlife, and people.
- Phase 1 Graves Park Improvements (Village of Seneca Park Board): This project will support Phase 1 development of Graves Park, a new 16-acre park adjacent to the historic Illinois & Michigan Canal and Trail and Seneca’s downtown business district, through native landscaping, arboretum plantings, a walking trail, and interpretive signage.
- Hundred Oaks for a Hundred Years (McHenry County Conservation District): This project will support McHenry County Conservation District’s “Hundred Oaks for a Hundred Years” event at Pioneer Fen in October 2017, when students from Johnsburg Schools will plant trees to restore a 40-acre woodland and learn about conservation in the County.
- Eco-Cultural Connection: Woodstock, Mexico & Mariposa Monarca (City of Woodstock): This project will establish boardwalk access and enhance pollinator habitat through native plantings at Westwood Conservation Area, create an educational “Mariposa Meander” pollinator garden to introduce community members to pollinator plants and conservation actions, and engage community members from Mexico with bilingual signage and educational activities.
- Pollinator Enhancement at the McHenry County Administration Building (McHenry County): This project will involve removing existing ornamental plantings at the County’s Administration Building and installing native plant species to provide pollinator habitat, complete xeriscaping and raingarden demonstration projects, and provide educational opportunities.
McHenry & Kane Counties
- Spella Park Pollinator Project (Village of Algonquin): This project will promote the health of pollinators by restoring 9.5 acres of turf grass, accessible by a local pedestrian trail, to create pollinator habitat that supports on-site educational programming through the Algonquin Library.
- The Butterfly Ranch at the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park (Governors State University): This project will transform 11+ acres of successional field into a canvas for butterfly propagation while it provides students, nearby residents, and park visitors with opportunities for bird watching, biking, hiking, and education through didactic signage.
- Symerton Park (Village of Symerton): This project will acquire 1.5 acres of land for a children’s park and open space area, post signage, and implement the site preparation and groundcover planting needed to install playground equipment.
- A Cleaner Levings Lake (Rockford Park District): This project will install 20 Biohaven Floating Islands within Levings Lake to improve water quality by acting as a floating wetland, cleaning the lake water from excessive nutrients and providing fish habitat.
Congratulations to the 2016 ComEd Green Region Grantees:
- Anderson Park Improvement (City of Hometown): This redevelopment project provided new equipment for Anderson Park and helped to increase accessibility and open spaces in the park.
- Niles Community Garden (Niles Park District): The Niles Community Garden transformed an unused plot of land into a productive and educational garden. The garden offers twenty-six organic plots, two of which will supply fresh produce for public donation.
- Interpretive Nature Park (Prospect Heights Park District): This grant helped to create an interpretive nature park, providing ecological benefits while nurturing children’s connection to nature. Native buffers replaced turf grass around the Slough wetland, improving health and habitat while continuing to build a volunteer network.
- Veterans Park Wildlife Area and Observation Deck (Village of South Holland):
This project established a wildlife area and observation deck. This will allow the public to view migratory wildlife, raising ecology awareness, and enhance the local ecology system.
- Gillson Park Bird Habitat (Wilmette Park District):
This grant helped establish a migratory bird habitat at Gillson Park. This habitat will increase both recreation and education opportunities for the community, as well as provide a critical habitat for migrating birds.
- Multi-Use Community Trail (Village of Shabbona): This grant helped the village acquire land and create a multi-use pathway connecting a number of community areas to the village itself.
- Ecological Restoration Project (Bensenville Park District): This project focused on both the restoration and management of naturalized and native park sites, helping to ensure their health for current and future generations.
- Native Planting and Pollinator Restoration Project (Village of Carol Stream): This project converted approximately one acre of grass in a decommissioned sewage facility to native and pollinator plantings.
- Education Gardens and Apiary (Village of Clarendon Hills): The Richmond Education Gardens and Apiary promote access to community ownership of process and product, localization, healthy eating, and organic and environmentally sound gardening practices to encourage investments based on environmental sustainability practices.
- Lincoln Marsh Nature Area (Wheaton Park District): This grant helped provide a nature play area within the 151-acre Lincoln Marsh Natural Area to encourage children and their families to play and learn in a safe natural environment.
- Open Space Improvements (Village of Warren): This project installed new safety railings in areas frequented by students, replaced trees in the village park, and upgraded the green space in the center of the downtown.
- Community Park Green Space (Big Rock Park District): This project created the first public vegetated bio area with native flowers within the Park District’s jurisdiction. The planned area promotes bird and wildlife habitat while offering opportunities for study of native flora and healthy ecosystems.
- Restoring Rain Gardens at Phillips Park (City of Aurora): This grant helped the City of Aurora replant and restore their rain gardens and a bioswale area at Phillips Park.
Lake and Cook County
- Restoring Mike Rylko Park (Buffalo Grove Park District): This project extended and accelerated the restoration of Mike Rylko Community Park’s streambanks, woodlands, and wetlands along the Willow Stream corridor.
- Meadowview Nature Path (Grayslake Community Park District): Grayslake Community Park District, in collaboration with Meadowview Sprouts, worked on restoration of a wooded area, adding a nature trail and interpretive signage, and replacing a wetland boardwalk.
- Liberty Prairie Reserve Restoration Project (Libertyville Township Open Space District): This grant helped restore 113 acres of degraded farmland into a native habitat that connects to three Illinois Nature preserves, creating one contiguous block of habitat.
- Skokie River Woods Open Space Planning (Park District of Highland Park): This project developed an open space plan to increase public access to the Skokie River Woods natural area and improve regional connectivity while protecting the environmental integrity of the wetland ecosystem.
- Oak Ridge Park Habitat Restoration (Village of Lake Zurich): This project began the habitat restoration of a degraded oak woodland, which included the removal of invasive species and the reintroduction of native ones.
LaSalle and Livingston County
- Hardscrabble Park Trail Extension and Plan Amendment (City of Streator): This grant helped construct a trail atop a former railroad right-of-way recently acquired by the city, create displays telling the story of the site’s history, and update the city’s 2002 Greenway Master Plan to reflect changed local conditions.
- Rock River Burn Crew (Dixon Park District): The Middle Rock River Conservation Partnership brings together 25-plus natural land managers in three state-designated Conservation Opportunity Areas (COAs). This project focused on prescribed fire and radio equipment required to safely complete burns on natural areas.
- Hyde’s Lakeview Park Improvements (Village of Island Lake): This grant supported improvements to the newly acquired Hyde’s Lakeview Park. The goal of the park is to provide the community a scenic setting with benches, limestone walkways, and resting areas overlooking Island Lake.
- Community Garden and Urban Farm Initiative (Will County): This project established a community garden/urban farm initiative. The initiative includes an educational garden, small indoor hydroponic growing area, and compost bins.
Congratulations to the 2015 ComEd Green Region Grantees:
- Veteran’s Memorial Park Shelter (Village of Poplar Grove): This project was a part of an ongoing effort to develop an accessible, passive-use park shelter adjacent to Long Prairie Trail. The shelter and path will be enjoyed by residents, cyclists, and recreational enthusiasts, and it will be used as a space for organized events, scouting, and community wide activities.
- Independence Park Teaching Garden (Chicago Park District): This project supported the Independence Park Teaching Garden, which offers an applied approach to nutritional and biological science education for children enrolled in the summer day camp.
- Hermitage Street Community Garden Expansion (Forest Preserves of Cook County): This project funded the expansion of the successful Hermitage Street Community Garden in Englewood. The expansion allows more families to use allotment beds and the community to be invested in the use of this open, green space that employs environmental best practices.
- Wetlands Restoration Planning at Irons Oaks (Homewood Flossmoor Park District): This project supported the planning and restoration of the Irons Oaks Pond to determine the best course of action to restore nature water filtration and quality.
- Heritage Quarries Recreation Area (Village of Lemont): This project allowed the Village of Lemont to install a boat dock at the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area, which is situated along the historic I&M Canal State Trail and is one of the Great Lakes quarries. This project was a part of an ongoing effort to increase passive recreation opportunities and offers visitors 100+ acres of nature to explore.
- Midlothian Village Greenway (Village of Midlothian): This project helped fund the Midlothian Village Greenway Project, which is a green infrastructure implementation project to increase community awareness of water quality best practices, and improve water quality and aesthetics along Midlothian Creek.
- Genoa to Kingston Trail Project (DeKalb County Forest Preserve District): This project connected the Russell Woods Forest Preserve with a multi-use trail, continuing the trail west through Russell Woods and the South Branch Prairie to complete a section of this important trail.
- Peace Road Trail Connection (City of Sycamore): This project connected the Peace Road Trail extension from the South Prairie Elementary School to the main trail next to Peace Road. The new connecting trail allows safer access to the trail north of Prairie Drive on Peace Road, increasing the enjoyment of all who use the trail.
- Grow Healthy Community Garden (Village of Villa Park): This project allowed the Village of Villa Park and its partners in the Grow Healthy Villa Park Coalition to create a community garden on a vacant site and engage partners and residents in establishing an edible, teaching garden that is truly transformational for the village.
- Honey Hill Meadow (Village of Wayne): This project allowed the Village of Wayne to preserve and protect a 38-acre undeveloped meadow for walking, horseback riding, bird watching, and exercise of unleashed dogs. The meadow is traversed by two creeks that form Norton Creek, a tributary to the Fox River.
- Multi-Use Path and Bridge (Village of Diamond): This grant supported the installation of an accessible multi-use path that includes a scenic bridge, benches, and informational signage.
- Heldt Park Hill Prairie and Natural Playground (Village of Grant Park): This grant helped create a hill prairie and a natural playground learning environment that is safe, cognitively challenging, and utilizes native plants and natural elements to create a beautiful, sustainable, and environmentally friendly area of wildlife habitat with a very low carbon footprint.
- Dedicated Nature Preserves Planning and Restoration (Kendall County Forest Preserve District): This grant helped establish management plans for the Maramech Woods Nature Preserve and Tucker-Millington Fen Nature Preserve to implement enhanced natural area monitoring and restoration activities, with the primary focus on removing non-native species from core habitat areas.
- Restoring a 22-Acre Remnant Prairie on the McClory Bike Path (City of Lake Forest): This project is a collaborative restoration to remove invasive plants along a popular, heavily-traveled 2.5-mile section of the Robert McClory Bike Path in Lake Forest. This grant greatly expanded the efforts to control the many invasive plants that threaten this high quality prairie area.
- Dennis A. Dorsey Conservation Area (Village of Green Oaks): This grant supported the restoration of the Dennis A. Dorsey Conservation Area. This project focuses on a rare habitat that is threatened globally – 12 acres of northern flatwoods, oak savanna, and vernal pools, which will be restored by volunteers and local homeowners as a citizen model.
- Franklin Creek Headwaters Signage (Lee County): This grant supported the design, fabrication, and installation of a kiosk and informational signs to help visitors navigate the 80-acre Franklin Creek Headwaters property while learning about the site’s key natural and historic features.
- Pathways to Education at William C. Donato Conservation Area (City of Woodstock): This grant funded the design of new wetland walkways to ensure the William C. Donato Conservation Area is a safe and accessible outdoor learning lab for Woodstock High School students and is enjoyable for all park visitors.
- Hundred Oaks for a Hundred Years (Richmond Burton High School District – 157): This grant supported the reforestation of a 20-acre oak woodland that will connect two fragmented woodlands, restoring a 160-acre oak woodland community. This grant supplemented current woodland restoration on the site and is a component of the long term restoration plan to restore an oak woodland totaling 500 acres at Glacial Park.
- Oakwood Hills Fen Restoration Lower Basin (Village of Oakwood Hills): This grant is a part of a larger two-year project to stabilize severe ecosystem degradation at the Oakwood Hills Fen Illinois State Nature Preserve, ensuring that, along with the restoration of this important site, visitors will be able to access and enjoy the hiking trails.
- Wetland Observation Deck Project (Village of Orangeville): This grant allowed the Village of Orangeville to construct an observation deck to enhance community interaction with the Village’s restored wetland along the Jane Addams Trail. The Village will partner with the local non-for-profit group “A Community Together (ACT).”
- Community Park Wetland Bank Development (Channahon Park District): This grant supported the expansion of the current trail system and create linkage to the I&M Canal State Trail, allowing visitors to explore the diverse ecological environments of the wetland bank, park, and canal, and learn about the history of the area.
- Island Prairie Boardwalk Extension (Frankfort Square Park District): This project allowed the Frankfort Square Park District to expand public access into the Island Prairie Park wetlands by creating a boardwalk extension. The project also included a shoreline and wetland restoration, which will use native plant material grown in the Island Prairie greenhouse.
- Dellwood Park West Conservation (Lockport Township Park District): This project is a part of a joint effort by the Lockport Township Park District and the Will County Forest Preserve District to collectively restore and manage the Dellwood Park West, conserving globally rare and federally endangered species and providing residents with opportunities for bird watching, biking, and hiking.
Congratulations to the 2014 ComEd Green Region Grantees:
- Remediation of Dorchester Community Garden (City of Chicago): This grant supported site preparation at the new location of the 62nd and Dorchester community garden before management of the garden transfers from the city to NeighborSpace.
- Natural Areas Restoration (City of Prospect Heights): This grant supported restoration of two natural areas, the Slough on Wheeling Road and the Prospect Heights Bike Path, under the auspices of the newly-formed City of Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission.
- Completion of Emily’s Prairie (City of Rolling Meadows): This grant completed the creation of Emily’s Prairie, a new native prairie located between Salt Creek and Rolling Meadows High School.
- Forest Road Trail Access (Community Park District of LaGrange Park): This grant helped establish a new bike path across Forest Preserves of Cook County land, which will connect Forest Road in LaGrange Park with the Salt Creek Trail system.
- Mahoney Park Bird Pond Restoration (Kenilworth Park District): This project is part of an ongoing effort to revitalize Mahoney Park and will allow the Kenilworth Park District to restore the in-ground bird bath to its original state. Mahoney Park is a wildflower and bird sanctuary officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Restoration of the bird bath will benefit local and migratory birds and area residents.
- Interpretive Bioswale (Park District of Oak Park): This project allowed the Park District of Oak Park to install an interpretive bioswale at the Oak Park Conservatory, which serves as both a functional and educational tool and provides educational opportunities on topics such as urban water management, ecosystem function, and the values of native plants.
- Dunning Read Conservation Area (State of Illinois):
This grant supported the initial restoration and enhance public access of approximately six acres of this conservation area, kick-starting the long-term conservation management plan, on Chicago’s northwest side.
- West Fork Stabilization in Downtown Glenview (Village of Glenview): This grant allowed the Village of Glenview to enhance public access to and stabilize and naturalize the streambank of the west fork of the north branch of the Chicago River. It represented Glenview’s comprehensive approach toward improving natural habitat and water quality using green infrastructure.
- Downtown Open Space Plan for Fox Pointe (Village of Lansing): This grant allowed the Village of Lansing to sustainably redevelop and convert a key vacant site within the heart of the community’s downtown into a community park containing native plantings and trees.
- Niles Rain Garden Project (Village of Niles): This grant supported the completion of the Niles Rain Garden Project, which will improve a depleted site, educate public officials and residents on sustainable practices, create a pedestrian friendly park, and develop a regional model to encourage others to promote water conservation in their communities.
- Oak Lawn Reforestation Corps (Village of Oak Lawn): This grant brought together community leaders and elementary and high school students to help reforest Village-owned parkways with high quality native trees, creating habitat, reducing stormwater runoff, increasing air quality and providing students with hands-on learning about the importance of trees in urban environments.
- Lake Hinsdale Park Walking Path (Village of Willowbrook): This grant funded the installation of a walking path at Lake Hinsdale Park, increasing access and enjoyment for all who frequent the park and enhancing the site as a destination for residents.
- Primrose Park (Village of Mazon):
This grant allowed the Village of Mazon to increase public access to Primrose Park, and included a path, fishing docks, and benches around two fishing ponds and a walkway bridge.
- Pingree Grove Forest Preserve (Forest Preserve District of Kane County): This project will improve habitat for turtle species at Pingree Grove Forest Preserve through management of invasive species within upland habitat and isolated wetlands used for nesting.
- Water Wonders Rain Garden (Village of North Aurora): This project funded the interactive Water Wonders Rain Garden within the Fox River watershed and included interpretative signage, native plantings, walking path, and a pedestrian foot bridge to encourage exploration of the garden.
- Native Plug Installation (Kankakee River Valley Forest Preserve District): This grant expanded ecological management and interpretive signage at 30 acres adjacent to the Aroma Land and Water Reserve.
- Fox River Observation Platform (Oswegoland Park District): This grant allowed the Oswegoland Park District to construct a concrete observation platform, seating and steps leading to the edge of the Fox River to provide an area for the public to access adjacent to the Fox River for passive recreation.
- Trail Improvements (Marengo Park District): This grant allowed the Marengo Park District to make their hiking trail more accessible for senior and handicapped citizens, improve the quality of the existing trail, and enhance the use and enjoyment of those who visit the site.
- Open Space and Pedestrian Corridor Plan (Village of Lakemoor): This project allowed the Village of Lakemoor to leverage its land acquisition activities to achieve the overall goals of the Village’s Central Area Open Space and Pedestrian Corridor Plan.
- Peter Halligan Nature Park (Crete Park District): This grant developed a 6.5 acre park with butterfly habitat, wild bird habitat, a reflection path, benches, signage and an overlook.
- Goodenow Grove Trail and Habitat Enhancements (Forest Preserve District of Will County): This grant funded trail upgrades and new trails at Goodenow Grove Nature Preserve and Plum Creek Nature Center, along with installation of a demonstration prairie and other ecological treatments for habitat improvement.
- Ferguson Forest Preserve (Winnebago County Forest Preserve District): This project supported the design and installation of 10 interpretative signs along the trail and at the entrance to the newly acquired Ferguson Forest Preserve, which encourages visitors to learn about and develop a greater appreciation for their natural surroundings and enhance their experience at the Preserve.
- Sutton’s Park Walking Trail (City of Minonk): This grant supported the construction of a walking trail through Sutton’s Park that allows easier access to the exisiting Nature Trail. The walking trail and established Nature Trail are a part of a larger, comprehensive plan to connect the trails to a park located on the southern edge of Minonk.
Congratulations to the 2013 ComEd Green Region Grantees:
- Village of Brookfield Open Space Plan (Village of Brookfield): This project funded an update to the Village’s Open Space Plan and addressed key natural systems within Brookfield, such as Salt Creek.
- 6062 Trees Community Garden and Outdoor Classroom (Enlace Chicago): This project supported the design and installation of a rain garden and outdoor learning area within a community garden in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago.
- Illinois Prairie Path Landscape Enhancement Project (Village of Hillside): This project included capital and landscape improvements to the Illinois Prairie Path main stem segment passing through the village of Hillside.
- Izaak Walton Preserve Trail System Footbridge Replacement (Village of Homewood): This project funded the purchase of materials to build a replacement bridge for the existing footbridge located at trail marker BR0.11 on the four-mile Izaak Walton Preserve Trail, in Homewood.
- Orland Park Nature Center (Village of Orland Park): This project supported site preparation, including prairie seed mix, and the development of a master plan for the Pebble Creek property and a future nature center.
- Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanical Gardens (City of Palos Heights): This project implemented the master site plan for Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanical Gardens and its surrounding natural areas.
- Central Park Wetland – Three Year Ecosystem Enhancement Plan (Village of Park Forest): The project supported a three-year improvement plan aiming to restore the quality and habitat of the site through enhancement activities like invasive weed control, mowing and prescribed burns, and water level management.
- Elmwood Dunes Preserve (Village of Wilmette): This project restored and protected the bluff and dune ecosystem at Elmwood Dunes Preserve by purchasing and planting native plants, trees, and seeds and installing educational signage.
- Trail Project (City of Genoa): This trail improvement project provided a gravel trail through parts of Genoa’s Prairie Corridor project, allowing the community to have greater access to recreational opportunities and scenic natural areas in the Grand Prairie.
- Ackerman Park Access from the Great Western Trail (Glen Ellyn Park District): This project constructed an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant, crushed limestone, 140-linear-foot trail extension connecting Ackerman Park in Glen Ellyn to the Great Western Trail.
- Invasive Species Removal at Harley Woods (Campton Township): This project removed invasive plant species at the Harley Woods site.
- Paddle the Fox (Village of Oswego): This project funded the design and fabrication of five signs to identify the water trail as part of the “Paddle the Fox” project, placed along the Fox River at established canoe launch sites.
- Still Farm Restoration (Village of Bull Valley): This project restored five acres of a 52-acre former farmland site, now owned by the Village, into savanna and wetlands including a walking path and signage for the public’s education and enjoyment.
- Trail of History Woodland Restoration (McHenry County Conservation District): This project funded 1,500-2,000 local-genotype oak and hazelnut seedlings to restore a 160-acre tract of historic oak woodland in McHenry County.
- Skare Park Restoration (Flagg-Rochelle Community Park District): This project implemented targeted control of highly invasive herbaceous plant species in select areas within Skare Park, on a priority-based treatment schedule.
- Restoring and Revitalizing Mokena’s Crystal Creek Prairie (Village of Mokena Public Works Department): This project supported Mokena’s ongoing partnership with the Land Conservancy of Will County for improved land management and educational outreach activities at the 45-acre Prairie Park Preserve, a public parkland area of wetlands and prairie.
- Aldeen Park Dam Basin Restoration (Rockford Park District): This project converted four acres of Aldeen Park to natural vegetation to promote flood management, water infiltration, and ecological biodiversity.