The Foundation’s Pollinator Schools Program supports the creation of native pollinator habitat at locations in Illinois that provide K-12 environmental education programming. Students learn about Illinois’ native plants while the habitat provides a much-needed food source for a variety of pollinators.
Grant support can be applied towards the purchase of plant materials as well as cover a portion of the costs associated with hiring consultants or contractors to help with the design, installation and limited summer maintenance of the habitat. Depending on the land available, some of the projects selected for this program may create habitat areas that are relatively small (i.e. 1,000 square feet), while others may be an acre or more in size. All will provide students first-hand experience with Illinois’ native habitat in action by creating a year-round refuge for pollinators.
If you are interested in learning more about this grant program, please e-mail Associate Program Officer, Frances Kane.
Pictured: Student volunteers working at Burnham Wildlife Corridor Pollinator Habitat planted at 35th St. Bridge Plaza under Chicago Park District’s grant project.
- Public or private K-12 schools; or
- 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations working in partnership with schools to provide K-12 environmental education programming
ALL applicants (nonprofits and local government agencies) are required to provide a Federal Employer Tax ID/Employer Tax ID Number (FEIN/EIN).
- Hold a “Community Planting Day” or “Pollinator Celebration” at the site
- Educate K-12 school-aged children and the community about pollinator habitat and native pollinator conservation
- A suitable site for proper installation and care of native pollinator habitat that is at least 1,000 square feet
- Ability to co-fund a minimum of 10% of the installation costs
- A project team of 3-5 individuals dedicated to the success of the pollinator habitat
- A commitment to teach about native pollinators in the classroom or a partnership with educators committed to teaching about pollinators and bringing students out to the site
- A plan to add signage at the site acknowledging the Foundation’s grant
- Agree to create and maintain pollinator habitat for five years in accordance with the Foundation’s Minimum Habitat Requirements
- Agree to the Foundation’s full list of Criteria and Guidelines for the grant program
Eligible applicants may apply for up to $10,000 or 90% (whichever is less) of the costs related to the design and installation of the habitat and an additional $1,000 towards summer maintenance. This is a reimbursement grant program. Grantees are responsible for all of the upfront costs. Payment is made upon review and approval of paid invoices and receipts. Please check with the Foundation before applying. The Foundation reserves the right to change funding levels and guidelines of this program.
- January 14, 2021 – CLOSED
- August 24, 2021 – CLOSED
Applications are submitted online and consist of answers to an online questionnaire and required attachments
Required Attachments saved as the File Names in Bold:
For Schools and Local Governments
- Form_YourOrgName – A completed K-12 Pollinator Schools Form
- ProjectBudget_YourOrgName – A completed K-12 Pollinator Schools Budget
- Photos_YourOrgName – An aerial photo or map highlighting the habitat location in relation to the school and before pictures of the habitat area saved together as one pdf or uploaded as separate jpg files labeled “Photo 1”; “Photo 2”; etc.
- SupportLtr_YourOrgName.pdf – A letter of support from the school administration for the use of the site as pollinator habitat and letters from teachers committing to incorporate the pollinator habitat into their curriculum and instruction, saved together in one pdf document.
- OrgBudg_YourOrgName – Organizational or departmental operating budget(s) – one for the most recent fiscal year and the one for the upcoming fiscal year (if available) – saved together or separately
- FinRep_YourOrgName – Financial Statements for the most recent fiscal year including a Statement of Financial Position and Statement of Activities for 501(c)3 organizations and a Statement of Net Assets and Statement of Activities for governments. Also, include any Notes to the Financial Statements, saved together or separately
- EIN_YourOrgName – IRS letter that confirms the organization’s EIN
Additional Documents required for Nonprofit Organizations
- 501c3_YourOrgName – IRS Tax Status Determination letter
- ILChOrgRep_YourOrgName – your organization’s most recent Illinois Charitable Organization Annual Report filed with the Illinois Attorney General’s Office
**For all applicants – If the name listed on IRS 501c3 and EIN letters is different from the organization name listed in the grant application, submit legal documentation to explain this difference. If possible, save this documentation and your EIN letter together as one pdf.**
A confirmation email is sent after an application is received.
The Foundation may follow up with additional questions for applicants.
Applicants will be notified of the Foundation’s decision on applications approximately two months after receipt of applications.
The Foundation’s K-12 Pollinator Schools Program application review process will take approximately two months. The grant award process is competitive and some projects may be declined.
Starting your Pollinator Habitat
- Design Guide for Pollinator Gardens by USDA
- Pollinator Plants for Dry Sites
- Pollinator Plants for Moist Sites
- Pollinator Plants for Wet Sites
- Monarchs in the Rough Resource Guide (Please note that the Foundation does not fund habitat installation at golf courses, but this guide may be useful for larger K-12 Pollinator Schools habitat areas to be grown from seed. The guide includes information on planning a project, establishing milkweed and adaptive management.)
- North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC) Curriculum
- Perilous Plight of the Pollinator
- Pollinator Partnership – Bee Smart Curriculum
Community Science Resources
- Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network
- The Great Sunflower Project
- Bumble Bee Watch
- The Field Museum’s Monarch Community Science Project
Other Pollinator Funding Opportunities
- Greening Forward
- The Pollination Project
- Gro More Good
- Monarch Butterfly and Pollinators Conservation Fund
- Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant
- Wild Ones – Lorrie Otto: Seeds for Education Grant Program (SFE)