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11 park districts to receive Earth Day in the Parks grants

SPRINGFIELD – Eleven Illinois park districts will receive nearly $11,000 to offer Earth Day in the Parks activities, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Conservation Foundation announced today.

Earth Day in the Parks has been offered through IDNR since 2007. The events provide students and teachers with an opportunity to increase the use of native plants in Illinois landscapes while benefitting wildlife species. IDNR has wanted to expand the reach of such events by including park districts as host sites. A recent donation from the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation in Skokie to the ICF allowed the agency to do so for the first time.

The program in cooperation with park districts supports the development of pollinator gardens and planting of native trees and shrubs as wildlife habitat. For many students, it’s the first time they make a connection with their environment and see that they can make positive changes for the world.

“We want school children to learn about nature through hands-on experiences,” said IDNR Director Colleen Callahan. “We hope to be able to offer Earth Day in the Parks through many more park district sites in the coming years.”

For more information about the program, contact the IDNR Division of Education at