HeartLands Conservancy Canteen-Cahokia Creek Watershed Cost Share Program Application


The goal of this program is to improve water quality in the Canteen-Cahokia Creek watershed by facilitating the voluntary implementation of highly effective Best Management Practices (BMPs) (see map at https://www.heartlandsconservancy.org/uppersilvercreek.php ). Property owners in the watershed can make a measureable positive impact on water quality and stormwater runoff, which will help reduce downstream water quality problems, flood damage, and other issues. 

HeartLands Conservancy received a grant from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), in partnership with the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Madison County Planning and Development Department. The grant funds are dedicated to helping to construct high-quality BMP projects. HeartLands Conservancy is looking for landowners and local government entities to sign up. The BMPs installed should, to the extent possible, filter runoff so as to remove sediment, nutrients, and other pollutants as well as reduce runoff volume and velocity. 


This cost share program has funding remaining for the following types of BMP projects:

·         Grassed waterway
·         Pond
·         Water and Sediment Control Basins (WASCOBs)
·         Wetland Restoration
·         Shoreline stabilization
·         Stream channel restoration
·         Stream channel restoration
·         Streambank stabilization
·         Bioswales
·         Porous pavement
·         Rain gardens
·         Urban filter strips
·         Urban tree planting

More information about these practices can be found at http://tinyurl.com/jhwx5p9 .


The funds distributed will be reimbursed rather than provided up-front.  Approved projects will be eligible for reimbursement of up to 50% of the total project cost, while the applicant will be responsible for at least 50%.  You will need to enter into a 10-year landowner agreement with HeartLands Conservancy, secure approved designs* and permits, construct the project, and demonstrate completion, and then the reimbursement will be processed. Partial reimbursement following project milestones may be available on a case-by-case basis.

The maximum grant amount available for a single project will vary by the type of project. Costs will be reimbursed up to a standardized cost amount from the relevant county Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Practice Component List. For example, cost estimates for grassed waterways are broken down into components such as: earthmoving, tile (by size), inlets etc. Each component has an average cost that is used to arrive at a final payment maximum. For ponds, engineers’ estimates will be used. Applicants are encouraged to keep costs down by soliciting at least 3 bids from contractors. All else being equal, applications proposing to pay more than 50% will earn a higher ranking than those paying only 50%.  This will allow more projects to be built, and for the grant funds to have a greater impact.

*IEPA’s funding is dedicated for construction, engineering approval, and materials costs.  Technical assistance for the initial site assessment, project design, and the development of an Operations and Maintenance Plan for the project is available at no cost to the applicant for most projects.


This program aims to provide education about water quality and BMPs. For most projects, a sign must be posted at the project site during and after the construction period to show that it is associate with the cost share program. Appropriate signage will be provided by HeartLands Conservancy.


An Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Plan must be developed for each BMP, covering the 10 years after installation. The landowner must commit to the O&M Plan, which will identify appropriate regular inspection needs and management activities such as sediment and debris removal, to maintain the project in good condition for 10 years.   


If you are interested in signing up, the first step is to fill out an application form (next page).

You may apply for more than one type of BMP project on your property. If you own more than one property in the watershed, you may fill out an application for each property, with a limit of 3 applications per property owner.

We anticipate that there will be a lot of competition. So don’t wait!


Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the initial signup period has been extended until May 15, 2020. At the end of the sign-up period, the program will be closed to new applications. The applications received will be reviewed, and project technicians will begin assessing potential project sites using aerial imagery and topographic maps. If a project looks promising, the project technicians will contact the applicant by phone or email to set up a site visit. Following the site visits, HeartLands Conservancy and a small group of project partners will evaluate the projects using criteria such as cost, pollution reduction, and flood damage reduction.

If your project is selected to continue, it will be sent to IEPA for approval.  HeartLands Conservancy will notify applicants if IEPA approves, and at that time final application materials – any final design work, a landowner agreement, etc. – will be processed.  After approval of the final designs, construction may begin. If you begin construction, and your project application is declined, we will not be able to reimburse you for your costs. Be patient with the process; do not start work without written authorization from HeartLands Conservancy. 

If funds remain after this sign-up period, there will be a rolling deadline for applications until all funds have been awarded or the grant period ends.

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