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IDNR Awards Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants to Schools

Chris Young
IDNR Awards Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants to Schools
Privately Funded Program to Assist More than 7,000 Students in Learning about Illinois� Natural Heritage
SPRINGFIELD, IL - Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Wayne Rosenthal today announced the awarding of more than $90,000 in Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants. The 95 grants, made possible through private donations, will assist more than 7,200 students to visit Illinois state parks, museums and other natural resources sites to learn about nature and conservation.

�We are pleased to be able to support learning outside the classroom with these grants. This program allows students to visit locations throughout the state to see first-hand what they�ve been learning about in the classroom,� said Director Rosenthal. �Our future conservation leaders need the opportunity to experience Illinois� natural resources in person.�
The entire $90,356.90 being awarded for 2015 was made possible by private donations from the Independence Tube Corporation of Chicago, the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation of Skokie and the Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) of Springfield. 

�With the additional costs that schools incur for field trips often hard to come by, we�re thrilled to be a solution to the largest barrier to outdoors education,� said ICF Executive Director Eric Schmidt.  �The chance to enhance learning opportunities outside of the classroom becomes such an inspiring opportunity for our state�s children.�
The Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Program has distributed more than $778,000 and reached more than 75,900 students since its inception in 2001.  Grant recipients are located throughout Illinois and represent students from pre-kindergarten through high school.

The competitive grant program allows Illinois teachers to apply for funds to take students on a field trip to study Illinois� biodiversity. Learning activities must directly relate to the school�s curriculum. The annual application deadline is January 31. Funding is administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation and covers expenses such as the costs of transportation and substitute teachers.

For more information about the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Program, contact the IDNR Division of Education at or 217-524-4126. The Illinois Conservation Foundation gladly accepts donations for the Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Program. Visit for additional information.

For a list of this year�s winners log on to the IDNR website at The 2016 application form will be available soon.
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