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Environmental Grant Program

2012 Environmental Grant Program

At Illinois American Water, we are committed to protecting the environment in the communities we serve and are proud to support the efforts of local organizations who share our vision.

Established in 2005, our Environmental Grant Program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies in our local communities. We are pleased to offer this assistance to our community partners, while leveraging local resources and capabilities to make a positive impact on the environment. 

For more information about the program, contact Karen Cotton at 309-566-4126 or


Take a Look at our Past Winners!

2012 Environmental Grant Recipients

Bradley University in Peoria will receive a $5,000 grant for Phase 2 of the River Action League, which engages community volunteers to collect Illinois River samples for research and watershed improvement. The project incorporates additional testing protocols, data publication and a partnership with the Peoria Riverfront Museum.

Living Lands and Waters will receive its requested $1,500 grant in full for the Great Mississippi River Clean Up. The goal of the project is to engage volunteers to help with the removal of approximately four tons of debris from the river.

The City of Peoria’s $6,000 grant for the Peoria Rain Garden and Native Landscaping Program will incorporate a pilot rain garden, native seeds and print materials to educate residents about the importance of rain gardens for storm water management.

The City of Waterloo will receive its requested $4,120 grant in full for the restoration of a historic freshwater spring located at the site of the Monroe County History Museum. This site is also home to the first Illinois settlement. The project includes debris removal, erosion prevention and the installation of a walking bridge.

The Morton Arboretum’s grant of $6,075 for the Wetland Restoration Stewardship Program will engage and educate audiences through volunteer workdays. Workday activities include native plantings, removal of invasive plants, trash removal and educational programs.

The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center will utilize a grant of $3,071 for the Mississippi River Workshops to provide educators with activities, curriculum guide and tools for participating in The Mississippi River XChange (MRX) program. MRX is a platform for high school students along the Mississippi River to share information about their watershed and source water protection.


2011 Environmental Grant Recipients

Spring Lake Nature Park in Streator, Ill. received their requested grant amount of $1,427 in full for the West Trail Bridge Project. This project helped to decrease sedimentation in Spring Lake and provide appropriate crossing of the watershed.

Lisle Park District in Lisle, Ill. received a grant of $4,500 for the Woodglenn Park Renovation and Wetland Detention Interpretation Project. This project incorporated environmental and educational signage and activities at the park’s already established wetland area. By using the available landscape, the Lisle Park District increased awareness in regards to a wetland’s far-reaching benefits.

Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. was awarded a grant of $5,500 to create the River Action League. The River Action League mobilizes citizens for watershed health. The group provides training and sample collection kits to volunteers so they can collect water samples from the Illinois River. The samples are analyzed for the determination of water resource needs locally.

St. Clair County Health Department in Belleville, Ill. received their requested grant amount of $2,000 in full for the Water Resource Management and Sustainable Development Project. This project addresses ground water protection needs by providing educational presentations to employees, residents and students.

McHenry County Government Water Resources Division received a grant of $6,200 for their Rain Garden and Xeriscaping Educational Project. The project educates residents and landscapers in McHenry County on the benefits of native landscaping through the use of model gardens. Educational materials were also created and provided through this project.

Tazewell County Health Department in Pekin, Ill. was awarded a $3,800 grant for the Winter Snow and Ice Conference. This event addressed the need for increased awareness in the community about the rise in chlorides in ground water. The event provided education to the region’s snow and ice operators on more sustainable application techniques of road salt.

Great Rivers Land Trust utilized a grant of $5,000 to construct a filter pond on the grounds of The Nature Institute in Godfrey, Illinois. The purpose of the project was to demonstrate the effectiveness of a two tiered filtration system to prevent sediment and impurities form reaching our streams and rivers.


2010 Environmental Grant Recipients

Living Lands and Water will receive a $5,000 grant for their Great Mississippi River Cleanup project. This one-day, clean-up project will take place simultaneously across 22 cities along the Mississippi River. The event will take place from St. Paul, Minn. to St. Louis, Mo., and includes the cities of Alton, Ill. and Grafton, Ill., which are served directly by Illinois American Water.

Tazewell County Health Department will receive their requested grant amount of $1,800 in full for the “Green Matters Street Cleanup” project in Pekin, Ill. This community-wide clean-up effort will launch an education and waste reduction initiative. Efforts also include the launch of a new chapter of Keeping American Beautiful to provide project sustainability.

Prairie Rivers Network will receive a $6,000 grant for the “Reining in the Rain” in Champaign. . By involving the creation for community rain gardens, the distribution of 50 rain barrels, this project should decrease flooding in residential neighborhoods of Champaign, Ill.

Forest Preserve District of DuPage County will receive a $5,300 grant for the Aquatic Invasive Species Program in the Chicago Metro service area. This project focuses on public awareness and education surrounding threats posed by aquatic invasive species like the Zebra mussel. Data will also be collected to help determine future actions.


2009 Environmental Grant Recipients

Below the Surface based in Libertyville will be awarded $3,000 for its “90 ways in 90 days to clean and conserve water” program. Focusing on the Des Plaines and Mississippi watersheds, the project aims to increase awareness of upstream action and downstream impact and by providing one tip per day on a website, creating a watershed workbook for elementary, middle and high school students; and creating a water monitoring network in the Mississippi River online.2

Pontiac Township High School in Pontiac will receive $5,000 to help fund its P2D2 Pontiac Prescription Drug Disposal Plan. The program will focus on reducing the amount of pharmaceuticals in the water supply by providing the public with an alternative way to dispose of their unwanted medicines.

Sun Foundation for Advancement in the Environmental Sciences and Arts based in Washburn will receive a grant of $3,000 to fund the creation of materials that outline the current Clean Water Celebration in Peoria so that other communities and states may create a similar program. The program is geared toward education on the importance of watershed protection.

Will County Land Use Department based in Joliet will receive $3,000 to help fund the debris removal and stabilization of Fiddyment Creek. Partners for this project include City of Lockport, Will County, Homer Township, IDOT and Forest Preserve of Will County. The Des Plaines River Watershed is also addressed by the project.

2008 Environmental Grant Recipients

In 2008, six initiatives across the area received funding through the American Water Environmental Grant Program.

Trailnet, Inc. - The organization is located in St. Louis, Missouri and is a non-profit organization with a 20-year history of Promoting Active Living* as a way of life that encourages people to integrate physical activity into their daily routines. The project is Confluence Corridor Restoration, Maintenance and Management. This will help protect and restore watersheds in the St. Louis, Missouri region along the corridor. The habitat includes wetlands, prairie and bottomland forest along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. Success will be tracked by calculating acreage of invasive species which are controlled and removed and amounts of native trees, shrubs and grasses restored and maintained through regular watering. Trailnet was awarded $8500.00.

Muncie Sanitary District (MSD) - The Muncie, IN Sanitary District was established by ordinance in 1964. Goals of the MSD include: constructing, reconstructing, maintaining, repairing and regulating the use of all connecting and intercepting sewers at the most economical cost available. MSD also wants to be responsible for the collection and removal of solid waste materials and to prevent pollution of the water courses within the MSD boundaries. Funds from the grant program will be used for the White River Cleanup Project. The program will be created and sustained indefinitely to benefit the health of the river and the surrounding community. MSD was awarded $6500.00.

River Action - This non-profit organization is dedicated to fostering the environmental, economic and cultural vitality of the Mississippi River and its riverfront in the Quad Cities Region. Located in Davenport, Iowa, grant money will help to develop the Quad City Watershed Plan which seeks to: improve water quality; improve physical and aesthetic characteristics in and around area streams, wetlands and rivers; provide education; and provide resources for funding assistance to implement the improvements set forth in the plan. River Action was awarded $5000.00.

Kosciusko County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) - This is a governmental subdivision of Indiana. It is responsible for carrying out practices and programs that promote the conservation of our soil, water, and related natural resources within the county. Funds from the grant will offer a hands-on field experience to high school students and allow them to develop an awareness and appreciation of water resources in the county and how to assess water quality. Students will also develop a sense of responsibility and stewardship as members of the community. Kosciusko County SWCD was awarded $3000.

TCRPC - Serving Woodford, Peoria and Tazewell Counties in Illinois, the TCRPC has been working actively with community members from various sub-watersheds throughout the tri-county area to develop plans unique to each community to address the issues of water quality and erosion. Funding from the grant will allow the TCRPC to increase public knowledge of the importance of watershed preservation and restoration of the Illinois River through a public education campaign. Goals are to increase visits to watershed educational websites and community knowledge of water related issues. The TCRPC was awarded $3000.00.

Sandusky River Watershed Coalition (SRWC) - Formed in 1997, the Sandusky River Watershed Coalition is a combination of individuals and organizations concerned with and/or affected by the protection and enhancement of the water resources in the Sandusky, Ohio watershed. Funds from the grant will be devoted to a project providing education to change people’s method of medication disposal from flushing to improved methods of disposal. It will also provide a minimum of four collections of medications for disposal by incineration. The project is called, “The Sandusky Watershed Minus Medication – The Safe Solution.” The SRWC was awarded $6100.00.