Two Will County communities won grants through the ComEd Green Region Program to go toward natural area improvement projects.
The Bolingbrook Park District and the village of Romeoville were two of 26 public agencies to receive up to $10,000 each to plan, acquire and improve local parks, natural areas and recreation resources, according to a news release.
“Together with our partners at Openlands, we are proud to support organizations that are making meaningful differences to restore and enhance natural habitats and biodiversity,” Melissa Washington, ComEd’s vice president of governmental and external affairs, said in the release. “It’s a perfect balance of meeting our future energy needs and powering a brighter and more sustainable future for our customers and communities we serve.”
The Bolingbrook Park District received the grant for its project to develop six pods to provide essential habitats for the life cycle completion of native beneficial insects and pollinators. The pods range in size from a quarter of an acre to two acres, according to the release.
The Romeoville Parks and Recreation Department’s grant will go toward converting degraded wetlands and storm-water management basins into diverse native plant communities. These areas will expand critical habitat and food sources for pollinators, while increasing regional native wetland presence.
Since the inception of the Green Region Program in 2013, ComEd has awarded more than $1.3 million to municipalities across northern Illinois to help fund their open-space projects. ComEd provides the funding and Openlands, one of the nation’s oldest metropolitan conservation organizations, administers the grants to local communities.
The program is especially concerned with advancing and protecting the region’s essential pollinator species due to a recent decline.
Earlier this year, the public agencies from across different communities served by ComEd submitted grant applications which were reviewed by an advisory committee composed of county government officials and members of the region’s conservation community.