Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund Grant - Small Projects & Illinois Non-Game and Plant Large Project Funding Program

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

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Grant amount: US $2,000 - US $20,000

Anticipated deadline: Apr 1, 2020

Applicant type: Individuals Organizations

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Research, Project / Program

Location of project: Illinois

Location of residency: Illinois

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On September 17, 1983, the Illinois legislature passed the Illinois Non-Game Wildlife Protection Act and established the Non-Game Wildlife Conservation Fund. In 1986 this fund was renamed the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund. The General Assembly then amended the Non-Game Wildlife Protection Act in 1987 to include native plants, and amended the Act in 2005 to insure a portion of the yearly donations would assist in the maintenance of wildlife rehabilitation facilities that take care of threatened or endangered species.

The Illinois General Assembly declared that "non-game wildlife have need of special protection and that it is in the public interest to preserve, protect, perpetuate and enhance non-game wildlife and native plant resources of this State through preservation of a satisfactory environment and an ecological balance." The Act provides a means by which such protection may be financed through a voluntary check-off designation on State income tax return forms.

Each individual taxpayer required to file a State income tax return may contribute to the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund by stating the amount of such contribution (not less than $1) on the tax return, via the Schedule G Charitable Donations. All donations received must be used to assist the preservation of non-game wildlife and native plants in Illinois. The amount of the charitable donation will be deducted from the tax refund (if the taxpayer is due a refund) or will be added to the amount of tax owed.

The funding is reimbursement funding, and payment of the funding for projects is made at project completion when all final reports and required materials are submitted to the Department for review.

Small Projects & Illinois Non-Game and Plant Large Projects

From these charitable donations there is an annual IWPF fund total allocation amount available for funding for three types of projects. This page is for the following two types: 

  • Small Projects - Small projects proposed for funding must focus on management, site inventories or education and cannot exceed $2,000.00
    • Education projects include interpretative activities that teach Illinoisans about the natural world around them and hopefully have lasting effects. Types of projects might include: interpretive trails, curricula, or workshops; trail signs; exhibit displays; outdoor education activities; or instructional packets and material.
    • Inventories that target birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, plants, invertebrates, native vegetation, habitats on an area of land (site, county, region).
    • Management projects that have a direct habitat enhancement benefit to non-game wildlife, native plants and natural communities.
      • Examples of this type of project include exotic species removal, brush cutting, installation of nest structures, and vegetation management.
  • Illinois Non-Game and Plant Large Project Funding Program - Large projects proposed for funding are usually, but not limited to, $2,000 to $20,000 per project and should address an identified priority need of non-game wildlife and plants.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Any individual, entity or group in Illinois is eligible to apply for funding for their projects.



  • Small projects: “One time only” projects directed at one small group of students will generally not be funded.
  • IDNR sponsorships are no longer required and should not be included in the large project grant application materials.