The Conservation Foundation has been awarded a nearly $250,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to create and improve monarch butterfly habitat along the Fox River.
The Fox Valley Monarch Corridor Project, led by The Conservation Foundation, is a collaborative partnership between 12 public and private land organizations that include:
- Barrington Area Conservation Trust
- Campton Township
- Conserve Lake County
- Dundee Township
- Fermilab Natural Areas
- Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
- Forest Preserve District of Kendall County
- Forest Preserve District of Kane County
- Fox Valley Park District
- Land Conservancy of McHenry County
- Oswegoland Park District
“We’re very happy to bring all these organizations together to do such important work,” said Dan Lobbes, The Conservation Foundation director of land preservation. “It takes all of us working together to make a significant, lasting difference for the monarchs and for us all.”
Matching contributions by the participating organizations, which extend across six counties, total nearly $600,000.
The Conservation Foundation is one of 22 nonprofit conservation organizations, government agencies, and other stakeholders to receive an award. A total of $3 million in grants was awarded by NFWS and ultimately will bring nearly $6 million more in matching contributions for the project.
The Fox Valley Monarch Corridor extends over 975 acres and will include the establishment and restoration of 10 multi-acre sites and hundreds of “stepping stone” sites on private land that will connect breeding and migration habitats of monarch butterflies and other pollinators.
In addition to the large natural areas targeted, the project will increase the presence of milkweed in neighborhood yards and local business campuses to help link the pollinators to the larger areas during their migration through the area. Milkweed is essential for monarch survival as their main food source and where they lay eggs.
An important part of the success of the project is engaging more residents in the Conservation @Home and Conservation@Work programs offered by The Conservation Foundation to conserve rain water and create native wildlife habitats that incorporate milkweed plants.
Work is expected to begin in early 2017, and must be completed within the two-year grant award period in 2019.
The grant is funded by the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund, and financially supported by Monsanto Company; U.S. Department of the Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Geological Survey; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Forest Service.
For more information on the Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund, go to the National Fish and Wildlife Fund website at nfwf.org.
The Conservation Foundation, headquartered in Naperville, is one of the region’s oldest and largest not-for-profit land and watershed conservation organizations. Since it was founded in 1972, TCF has helped preserve nearly 33,000 acres of open space, restored and cleaned miles of rivers and streams, and educated thousands of kids by engaging them in nature and the outdoors.
Work is focused in DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will Counties to preserve and restore nature in your neighborhood. Find out more at theconservationfoundation.org.