Grant Program

Forever Wild Grant Program

In support of the Mission and Vision of Wild Ones, the Illinois Prairie Chapter is awarding grants to fund the purchase of native Central Illinois plants. Wild Ones is a national not-for-profit organization that aims to educate people about the beauty and benefits of growing native plants in their local landscapes or restoration projects. The funds to support the Forever Wild Grant program are raised through chapter dues and fundraising efforts, especially the annual native plant sale. Grants are awarded for the purchase of native plants for projects that preserve, restore, or establish natural landscapes, including outdoor classrooms.

Eligible Applicants

Schools, colleges, nature centers, libraries, houses of worship, and other public or private not-for-profit organizations located within the following Illinois counties: Champaign, DeWitt, Ford, Grundy, LaSalle, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Marshall, Mason, McLean, Menard, Moultrie, Peoria, Piatt, Putnam, Sangamon, Stark, Tazewell, or Woodford.

If the project is to be located on property that you do not own, you must obtain permission from the landowner to use the property.

Contact information

In addition to asking you to provide contact information for your organization, we ask you to identify a contact person for your organization and to provide an email address and phone number(s) for them. This person is responsible for ensuring that grant funds are used appropriately and for submitting the final report. Youth groups such as the Girl Scouts or 4-H must have an adult as their contact person.

Eligible Projects

Projects must aim to preserve, restore or establish native plantings. Projects may include, but are not limited to, the following: Butterfly Gardens, Monarch Way Stations, Prairie, Woodland, or Wetland Plantings, etc.

Applicants must demonstrate that their project has a reasonable chance of success. They must show that the project area will be prepared before planting in a way that is appropriate to their specific project. The native plants must also be appropriate to the local ecosystem in which the project is located and adapted to its micro-climate. If you are not sure if the plants you have selected are native to your local ecosystem, please visit: http://illinoiswildflowers.info. In addition, there must be a sound plan for maintaining the project area in the future.

Finally, projects must serve to educate their intended audience about the benefits and beauty of native plants. Applicants must describe their planned outreach efforts and show how they will be effective in educating their audience about native plants.

Eligible Costs

Funding will be provided for native plants only, not cultivars of native plants.  At this time we will not be funding the purchase of seeds.

Most projects will also incur other costs such as those involved in site preparation and its maintenance, instructional tools, hardscaping, etc., but these costs are not eligible for funding.

Funding

The maximum annual award is currently $500 per applicant. Checks will be made out to the non-profit organization applying, not to individuals within the organization. Funds are to be used in the year in which they are received. Applicants may apply for additional funding in subsequent years.

2017 Grant Cycle (2018 grant information will be available soon)

Instructions and Application Form: available between November 1 and February 15
Submit Application by email: between January 15 and February 15
Notification to all applicants: no later than March 30
Submission of Final Report February 15 of the following year

If you have questions about your intended native planting project, we encourage you to visit the Resources section of our website (http://illinoisprairie.wildones.org/resources/). There you will find information about native plantings, including how to prepare the site for your project and where to purchase native seeds and plants. If you have questions about your organization’s eligibility or the eligibility of your intended native planting project, please contact us at ilprairiewo@gmail.com. Thank you for your interest in and support of native plantings!