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Local

DeKalb Nature Trail project receives $10,000 grant

Carolyn Vaughn of DeKalb stretches June 29 at the Nature Trail in DeKalb.
Carolyn Vaughn of DeKalb stretches June 29 at the Nature Trail in DeKalb.

DeKALB – ComEd, in partnership with the Openlands conservation organization, is awarding a $10,000 grant to the DeKalb Park District for its Nature Trail restoration project.

This year, the Green Region grant provided more than $200,000 to open space projects that focus on conservation, preservation and improvements to local parks and recreation resources. The 2017 cycle also put a special focus on projects that help pollinators such as butterflies and bees.

“This year’s Green Region grantees are working diligently to ensure that open spaces in northern Illinois are enhanced, protected and preserved,” Fidel Marquez, senior vice president of governmental and external affairs at ComEd, said in a news release. “The grants will help each of these communities advance its own unique green initiative, from transforming unused turf grass into pollinator gardens to building brand-new outdoor classrooms.”

This donation comes shortly after the district received a $2,000 donation from the DeKalb Rotary Club.

Amy Doll, executive director of the DeKalb Park District, said once the park board adopts a restoration plan for the 1.3-mile trail, which is being drawn up by the DeKalb-based ecological firm Encap, the district can look further into grants that could support the project.

Encap presented a draft plan during the park board’s last meeting and also made a presentation to the Rotary Club since its donation indicated a vested interest in the trail.

Doll said the district hopes to have some of the elements of the plan on its website for public comment by next week.