Introducing the Lincoln Land Conservation Grant

Apex Clean Energy is proud to introduce the Lincoln Land Conservation Grant, an offering of the Apex Conservation Grant (ACG) program. The ACG program aims to benefit local communities by providing project funding to nonprofits working to enhance plant and wildlife habitat. In support of our core value of sustainability, ACGs seek to award funding to a local, regional, or national nonprofit organization that is ready to execute a meaningful project focused on wildlife conservation, reforestation and flora restoration, or other environmental remediation specifically benefiting central Illinois.

Lincoln Land Wind is a proposed 300-megawatt (MW) wind energy facility located in Morgan County, Illinois. The project is expected to produce enough energy to power more than 102,000 homes, and it is anticipated to come online by the end of 2021.

The Lincoln Land Conservation Grant will award at least $300,000 in implementation funding to the organization that proposes the strongest project to enhance regional habitat for migratory tree-roosting bats, such as the hoary bat, the silver-haired bat, and the eastern red bat. Applicants are encouraged to propose projects in the region that will protect roosting habitat or hibernacula for these bats, though other projects benefiting these bat species will also be considered.

Applying for the Lincoln Land Conservation Grant

The ACG program is a unique offering implemented according to the following process:

  • Apex Clean Energy announces project grant and invites interested parties to submit a Letter of Interest.
  • ACG committee selects up to five finalists to submit complete application.
  • ACG committee selects grant recipient from complete application submissions.
  • Grant recipient announced.
  • Funds awarded when construction of Lincoln Land Wind begins (anticipated spring 2021).

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, applicants must meet the following guidelines:

  • Applicants must be a registered 501(c)3 organization or other qualified not-for-profit in good standing with the IRS;
  • Applicants must have a documented track record of successfully performing on-the-ground conservation projects;
  • Applicants must be able to detail any existing local, state, or federal grant program that is applicable to the ACG and has readily available funds;
  • Grant application must propose a wildlife/habitat conservation field project (ACGs will not fund projects that primarily consist of scientific studies, general education, organizational overhead, or other organizational or project indirect costs. Proposed project budgets may designate no more than 8% of total funds requested for staff salaries and/or overhead, as long as those expenses can be directly tied to implementation of the grant);
  • ACG recipients must be prepared to comply with reporting and documentation requirements;
  • Applicant must be able to give grantor confidence that it will be able to implement an ACG project at any time within a 1-to-4-year period;
  • Applicants may propose projects that incorporate collaboration with taxing bodies or other private entities.

Project Requirements

The Lincoln Land Conservation Grant will support a project that:

  • Demonstrates that ACG funds will be matched on a 1:1 basis by applicant (cash or in-kind).
  • Provides, enhances, or conserves summer and/or winter habitat for native, migratory tree-roosting bat species, including the hoary bat, the silver-haired bat, and the eastern red bat.
  • Is located within the greater Central Illinois region.

Instructions for submission of Letter of Interest

Organizations interested in being invited to submit a complete Lincoln Land Conservation Grant application should submit a Letter of Interest containing the following information:

  • Organization name;
  • Organization primary point of contact and contact information;
  • Proof of 501(c)3 (or other qualified not-for-profit) status in good standing with the IRS;
  • Brief (250-word) description of proposed project and how it addresses Lincoln Land Conservation Grant goals;
  • Metrics that can be used to assess project success;
  • Brief “project work history,” showing organization’s successful completion of similar projects in the past;
  • Possible contributing entities for required match;
  • High-level organizational budget; and
  • High-level, itemized budget anticipated for proposed project.

Letters of Interest should be mailed or emailed, along with any required documents, to:

Lincoln Land Conservation Grant Program
Attn: Madeleine Ray
310 4th St. NE Suite 300
Charlottesville, VA 22902

[email protected]

Letters of Interest must be postmarked by November 15, 2020.

Please contact Madeleine Ray with any questions.