InnovativeWetlands Restoration Program Named as 2012 Recipient of American Water Environmental Grant
Volunteers and Stewardship Partners Kick Off Du Page River Watershed Project Thursday, June 21 at 5:30 P.M.
LISLE, IL (June 21, 2012) – Through a $6,075 grant from American Water, the nation’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, The Morton Arboretum will kick-off an innovative Du Page River wetlands restoration project on Thursday, July 21 at 5:30 p.m. at Crowley Marsh, the site of the sustainability project.
The goal of the project is to engage and educate volunteers for the Arboretum’s Woodland Stewardship Training Program to help with the removal of a quarter mile of clay tiles blocking natural drainage for the Crowley Marsh wetlands. It also is designed to help educate the public about this significant sustainable initiative on the Arboretum’s east side, according to Kurt Dreisilker, Manager of Natural Resources for The Morton Arboretum.
“Today, few natural areas across Illinois and the Great Lakes Region realize their potential ecological value, diversity, and long-term sustainability,” said Dreisilker, who will present an overview of the project to volunteers and others at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21, 2012 at Crowley Marsh. “This project helps us demonstrate how improving natural areas increases biodiversity, or the variety of organisms in a given region, and contributes to the health of the environment.”
Community involvement plays a paramount role in the project, Dreisilker said.
“Increasing the number of trained stewards to carry out and even supervise restoration activities will greatly improve the ability to conserve and protect natural areas,” he said. “The Crowley Marsh project will improve ground water supplies for the Arboretum’s wetlands and ultimately the environment. We're teaching adults and children about importance of wetlands and other natural areas."
Stakeholders in the project include the American Water Environmental Grant, and Huddleston McBride Drainage Co., of St. Charles, IL, which is providing contracting services to remove the drainage tiles.
The Morton Arboretum grant is one of six totaling $25,766 awarded to organizations throughout the country. Established in 2005, American Water’s Environmental Grant Program offers funds for innovative, community-based environmental projects that improve, restore or protect the watersheds, surface water and/or groundwater supplies in the communities.
“The Environmental Grant Program helps local organizations carry out initiatives that not only benefit our watersheds, but increase awareness and community participation.” said Karla Olson Teasley, president of Illinois American Water. "The work completed through this grant will help restore the Morton Arboretum Wetland while engaging and educating the public about this important resource."
Tom Chinske of Illinois American Water added: “Working with local communities on projects like this educates the public and helps ensure quality water service today and for the future.”
About The Morton Arboretum
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research, and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Throughout natural landscapes are specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails, and nine miles of roads. Other offerings include tree-focused events, activities, and services for adults, children, professionals, and communities. The Arboretum welcomes 800,000 visitors annually and serves 34,000 member households. Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. More information is available at www.mortonarb.org or 630-968-0074.
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