Nature picsROCKFORD – The Harlem Hills Nature Preserve has received a grant to support stewardship and enhance natural green spaces thanks to State Senator Steve Stadelman.

“This is a direct investment into our community that will make it a more vibrant place to live,” said Stadelman (D-Rockford).

The goal of the Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship grant program is to increase the delivery of much needed stewardship activities to natural areas permanently protected by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Stewardship needs at natural areas throughout Illinois have continued to outpace the ability to deliver these services by individuals, volunteers, organizations and government agencies. The grant program is designed to fund projects that address this deficiency through grants that will expand their staff and equipment for these activities.

The Natural Land Institute will receive $13,144.80 from this grant program for the purchase of equipment to support non-native invasive removal and prescribed fire at Howard D. Colman Dells Nature Preserve, Burr Oak Valley Nature Preserve, Harlem Hills Nature Preserve and Kyte River Bottoms Land and Water Reserve.

“Ensuring our park employees have the tools they need to continue to upkeep and revitalize our beautiful natural parks is a small step we can take to provide residents with green space to enjoy,” said Stadelman.

Funding for the program is derived from a portion of the Illinois Natural Areas Acquisition Fund.

More information about the Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship Grant Program can be found on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website at