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Illinois Clean Energy Community Challenge Grant

March, 2020
Friends of Hackmatack NWR received a Stewardship Challenge Grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF). By fulfilling a number of requirements by November 1, 2021, Friends of Hackmatack can receive up to $27,000 from the Foundation to spend on land stewardship activities on the Tamarack SouthEast Site.

The funds will be used to convert a farm field north of Richmond Burton Community High School into prairie and to plant native woodland plants, shrubs and trees in the oak woodlands. 

The Friends are currently working to remove invasive trees and shrubs from the six acres of woodland. Openlands acquired this property along with other acreage on the south side of Tryon Grove Road. Openlands is working with us on restoration of the property and ultimately, these lands will become a part of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge.

If you’d like to learn more about ICECF and their grant programs, please visit their website at illinoiscleanenergy.org.

grant challenge thermometer graphicSuccess! We made it to the top!

March 31, 2022 Update
We are pleased to report that we have successfully completed this Stewardship Challenge Grant and have provided our final report to the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF).

Thank you, thank you to our generous donors and our incredible stewardship workday volunteers whose contributions reached our $7000 fundraising target and surpassed our 400 hours of stewardship goal!

With your help, we raised a total of $34,000 that was put towards the restoration of the 7-acre oak savanna and more acres of prairie. This past winter the clearing of the savanna was completed, and Richmond-Burton High School National Honors Society students hand-seeded the savanna with native plant seeds. A total of 825 volunteer stewardship went into the savanna restoration. We are looking forward to seeing the site bloom over the coming years. We invite you to view this short video celebrating this successful restoration!

restored savannahPhoto of restored savannah on the Tamarack SouthEast Site, located at the entrance to the Richmond Burton Community High School, Tryon Grove Rd., Richmond, IL.

Tamarack-SE-students-workday
Richmond Burton High School students helping out on a February 2021 Stewardship Work Day

Tamarack-SE-prairie-seed-planting
Field north of the High School planted with prairie seeds

Read about our Progress:

April  29, 2021
We are close to completion of a number of actions needed to meet the goals of our Stewardship Challenge Grant:
— We are asking for your help to raise the last $385 we need to meet our $7000 fundraising goal. The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation will match our locally-raised funds 3:1 with $21,000 for seeds and plants to restore the savanna and prairie. Can you help us meet our goal? See below for how you can donate.

— The savanna is nearly cleared of brush! We will  hold a May 2 workday to clear the remaining brush and pull garlic mustard. This is the final work we need to accomplish before we seed and plant the woods with a native understory. RSVP to Pete Jackson at beepjackson@comcast.net if you can come help out anytime between 9am and Noon on Sunday.
— Members of Richmond Burton Community High School’s National Honor Society have written about their experiences helping out in this restoration effort. Read their testimonials here!

February 24, 2021
Friends of Hackmatack is still busy working on this project throughout the winter.
Accomplishments since December include:
— We only need $884 more in donations to meet our fundraising goal. Then Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation will match our locally-raised funds 3:1 with $21,000 for seeds and plants to restore the savanna and prairie. Can you help us raise those funds? See below for how you can donate.
— Volunteer crews held workdays at the site in January and February. The savanna is nearly cleared of brush! Thanks to all our great volunteers including Richmond-Burton Community High School National Honor Society students.
— McHenry County Conservation District has helped us out by spreading native plant seed on top of the snow on the fields adjoining the woods. Stay tuned for prairie on these sites in the spring!

December 7, 2020
Thank you to our volunteers and donors! With workdays held in November and December, we have now completed over 400 hours of volunteer stewardship and will receive $4000 from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to put toward the purchase of native seeds and plants to complete our restoration work. Thanks to many generous donors, we have now also raised over $4500 in matching funds that will generate $13,500 in matching funds from the Foundation. Scroll down for info on how you can donate by PayPal or check. No donation is too small as all are matched 3:1 by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, up to $21,000.

November 3, 2020
Thank you to our donors and volunteers! Thanks to many generous donors, we are now halfway to our goal to raise $7000 in matching funds. We have completed one puzzle and started a second. Puzzle pieces are $10 each. Scroll down for info on how you can donate by PayPal or check. No donation is too small as all are matched 3:1 by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. We have also conducted two successful fall workdays at the site. Twenty-one volunteers participated in September and 29 joined us in October. We have now completed 246 hours of volunteer stewardship. Every volunteer hour raises $10 for the project, up to 400 hours and $4000.
Mark your calendars for the next workday: Sunday, November 15, 9am-Noon.

September 23, 2020
Thank you to our donors and volunteers! Thanks to many generous donors, we are now two-thirds of the way to our goal to raise $3000 by our Nov. 10 Annual Meeting. We have completed one puzzle and started a second. Puzzle pieces are $10 each. Scroll down for info on how you can donate by PayPal or check. No donation is too small as all are matched 3:1 by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. We have also scheduled fall workdays at the site. Twenty-one volunteers joined in at our September workday. Every volunteer hour raises $10 for the project, up to 400 hours and $4000.
Mark your calendars for the next workdays:  Sunday, October 25, 1-4 pm and Sunday, November 15, 9am-Noon.