Highland News Leader

Sign-up for Upper Silver Creek Watershed cost-share program ends Oct. 20

The sign-up period is now open for landowners to apply for funding to put toward watershed improvement projects in the Upper Silver Creek watershed. The Upper Silver Creek watershed is the 120,000-acre area that drains to Silver Creek above the Madison-St. Clair county line. The watershed is mostly located in Madison County, but also includes areas in Macoupin and Montgomery counties.

The Upper Silver Creek Watershed Plan, developed with assistance from local watershed stakeholders, is a roadmap to addressing water quality and flooding problems in a strategic way in the watershed. The Plan recommends several voluntary practices for individuals, communities, and counties to implement across the watershed. The Illinois EPA 319 Nonpoint Source Pollution Control grant recently awarded to HeartLands Conservancy is designed to help implement certain Best Management Practices (BMPs) recommended in the watershed plan. HeartLands Conservancy is seeking landowners to sign up to install these BMPs, using the new funds as a cost share.

Eligible projects are grassed waterways, pond, streambank stabilization, stream channel stabilization, terraces, and water and sediment control basins. These projects will improve water quality and reduce the impacts of local or downstream flooding to some extent.

The grant will reimburse a portion of construction costs spent on selected projects.

Unfortunately, not all projects can be funded. Projects will be selected based on their pollutant reduction, cost, stormwater management impact, and other criteria.

The sign-up period ends Oct. 20.

About the program

Where to sign up? An online application is available at surveymonkey.com/r/uppersilvercreek319 or you can find a downloadable application and link to the online application attached to this story on the News Leader website, highlandnl.com

What projects are covered? This cost share program will fund the following types of Best Management Practices (BMPs) projects: grassed waterway, pond/streambank stabilization, stream channel stabilization, terrace (agricultural land), water and sediment control basins (WASCOBs)

How will grants cover? The funds distributed will be reimbursed, rather than provided up-front. Approved projects will be eligible for reimbursement of up to 55 percent of the total project cost, while the applicant will be responsible for at least 45 percent.

Who can answer more questions? For more information about the cost share program, contact Janet Buchanan, project manager at HeartLands Conservancy, at (618) 566-4451, ext. 25 or email janet.buchanan@heartlandsconservancy.org .

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