Highland News Leader

Meeting on erosion control funding for Highland Silver Lake Watershed this week

Get a tour of Highland’s Silver Lake and learn about conservation efforts

Highland Parks and Recreation Director Mark Rosen and Natural Resource Manager Ryan Hummert explore Silver Lake by boat. Learn how the city is trying to improve the water and save the lake's storage capacity.
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Highland Parks and Recreation Director Mark Rosen and Natural Resource Manager Ryan Hummert explore Silver Lake by boat. Learn how the city is trying to improve the water and save the lake's storage capacity.

HeartLands Conservancy will host an informational event about funding assistance opportunities for landowners in the Highland Silver Lake watershed Friday, Jan. 25 at 11:30 am at the Diamond Mineral Springs Restaurant in Grantfork.

The meeting will give landowners and operators a chance to learn about funding opportunities currently available for erosion control projects and sign up for the 319 cost share program before the Thursday, Jan. 31 application deadline.

During the event, landowners may ask questions about natural resource problems on their farms and seek conservation planning and assistance from HeartLands Conservancy, the Natural Resource and Conservation Service, and the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).

The Highland Silver Lake watershed is the 30,688-acre area in eastern Madison County and western Bond County that drains to Silver Lake. This area includes the City of Highland, the Village of Grantfork, and small portions of New Douglas and Old Ripley.

The cost share program is made possible through a $450,000 “319” grant awarded by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to HeartLands Conservancy to reduce non-point source pollution in the watershed.

HeartLands Conservancy is seeking landowners to sign up to install projects that will improve water quality. Projects will be installed using Illinois EPA grant funds and funds from the City of Highland as a cost share.

The following project types are eligible for funding:

• Cover crops/Green manure

• Grassed waterways

• Nutrient Management Plans

• Ponds/Wetlands

• Shoreline stabilization

• Stream channel and streambank stabilization

• Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCOBs)

• Woodland improvement

The cost-share program will reimburse 60 percent of construction costs spent on selected projects. Unfortunately, not all projects can be funded. Projects will be selected based on their pollutant reduction, cost, storm water management impact, and other criteria.

To find out if a property is in the watershed, view the watershed map available at https://www.heartlandsconservancy.org/highlandsilverlake.php.

The first sign-up period for the cost-share program closes on Thursday, Jan. 31. Future sign-up periods will be announced, as funding is available at www.facebook.com/HeartLandsConservancy.

To sign up to implement a project using these funds, fill in the application at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/highlandsilverlake319, or fill out and mail in the application available at https://www.heartlandsconservancy.org/highlandsilverlake.php.

For more information about the cost-share program contact project manager Janet Buchanan at HeartLands Conservancy at 618-566-4451 ext. 25 or email janet.buchanan@heartlandsconservancy.org .

Attendance to the meeting is free and lunch will be provided. Registration for the event is recommended. RSVP with Janet Buchanan of HeartLands Conservancy at 618-566-4451 ext. 25.

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