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Conservation Corner

NRCS Announces Special Illinois Initiatives

Wed, December 20, 2017

U. S. Department of Agriculture- Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will offer funding for the following special Conservation Initiatives throughout the state: Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (MRBI), National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI), and the Monarch Butterfly Project (Monarch).

Producers who have agricultural, pasture, or forest land located in a defined initiative project area (see below) can apply for assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Using EQIP’s technical and financial assistance, producers can install a variety of conservation practices that improve water quality, decrease soil erosion, and enhance wildlife habitat. 

To compete for funds in one (or more) of these initiative project areas, producers must complete and submit an application by one of two cutoff dates, January 19 and March 16, 2018. 

NRCS reminds producers they can apply for regular EQIP financial assistance at any time throughout the year, as NRCS accepts applications on a continuous basis.

Contact your local NRCS field office to obtain more details about a specific initiative and to see if your land is located in one of the project areas.  Learn more about NRCS’ programs and services in Illinois online at


Clinton Lake – Portions of DeWitt, McLean, and Piatt Counties
Crow Creek West/Clear Creek – Portions of Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam, and Stark Counties
Upper Macoupin Creek – Portions of Macoupin County
Vermilion Headwaters – Portions of Ford, Iroquois, Livingston, and McLean Counties


NWQI National Water Quality Initiative

Douglas Creek Watershed – Portions of St. Clair County
Crooked Creek-Bon Pas Watershed – Portions of Richland, Wabash, Edwards, and Lawrence Counties
Lake Vermilion Watershed – Portions of Vermilion County
Lake De Revey Watershed – Portions of Vermilion County
Painter Creek Watershed – Portions of Vermilion County
Lake Bloomington – Money Creek Watershed – Portions of McLean County
Blue Mound – Money Creek Watershed – Portions of McLean County

Monarch Butterfly Initiative Available in all Illinois Counties.