State Funding for School Rain Gardens in Illinois
The Illinois Rain Garden Initiative grant program provides funds for the construction of a rain garden on public property. A rain garden is a depression, often near a downspout, that is planted with native wetland or aquatic vegetation. Rain gardens can be designed to flower throughout the summer and built to will hold stormwater runoff or snow melt, allowing the water to be absorbed slowly by the plants and the soil.
Rain gardens reduce stormwater runoff, improve water quality, allow for the recharge of groundwater supplies, increase wildlife habitat and often reduce the need for mowing and its associated costs and pollution. You’ll find the application forms at http://dnr.state.il.us/education/CLASSRM/RainGarden/applicationpage.htm. Teachers, not-for-profit organizations and community groups may apply. The maximum award is $1,000. Grant applications due by March 19, 2010. For more information, contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Division of Education (firstname.lastname@example.org or 217-785-0973). The IDNR and Illinois Conservation Foundation administer this program. Funds are provided through a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.