State stewardship grants awarded to natural areas in Whiteside and Ogle counties

An undated photo of the Kyte River Bottoms Land and Water Reserve in Ogle County.

SPRINGFIELD — Natural areas in Whiteside and Ogle counties were beneficiaries of two of 10 grants issued by the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced the grants — which total $500,000 — on Thursday. Funding, in part, comes from the Illinois Natural Areas Acquisition Fund.

The Hahnaman Sand Prairie Nature Preserve in Whiteside County and the Kyte River Bottoms Land and Water Reserve in Ogle County were each included in designations for land trusts that govern them.

The Hahnaman preserve is included in the $20,000 designation to the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation.

The money will be used to purchase a utility terrain vehicle to perform invasive species control and monitor controlled burns at several of the foundation’s sites. Those sites, in addition to Hahnaman, are Rutherford Refuge at Twin Bridges Nature Preserve, Casper Bluff Land and Water Reserve, Apple River Canyon Nature Preserve and Land and Water Reserve, and Wapello Land and Water Reserve.

Kyte River Bottoms is included in the $13,144.80 awarded to Natural Land Institute based in Winnebago County.

Those funds will also be used to buy equipment in support of invasive species removal and prescribed burns. Sites in addition to Kyte River Bottoms to use the equipment are Howard D. Coleman Dells Nature Preserve, Burr Oak Valley Nature Preserve, and Harlem Hills Nature Preserve.

The grant program is designed to fund stewardship projects that organizations and trusts can’t meet with existing staff, volunteers or equipment. To be eligible, trusts must demonstrate they need help in preserving native plants or animals, biotic communities or geologic formations and archaeological sites of significance.

The other grant recipients were: $99,000 chemical removal of invasive species at preserves in McLean and Woodford counties; $70,000 natural diversity stewardship and $59,000 for contractual services Skokie River in Lake County; $69,000 for seed dispersal and rare species stewardship at preserves in McKenry, Cook and Williamson counties; $59,000 to hire contractual services in Lake County; $51,000 for cattail control in Putnam County; $35,000 for glade restoration in Monroe County; and $26,000 for herbicide application at Barrington Bog Nature Preserve in Lake County.

Troy Taylor

Troy E. Taylor

Was named editor for and the Gazette and Telegraph in 2021. An Illinois native, he has been a reporter or editor in daily newspapers since 1989.