Instructions for Preparing C2000 Ecosystems Program
Project Grant Applications for FY 2009
Ecosystems and Environment Division
Welcome to the FY 2009 version of DNR's C2000 Online Grant Application. The application has again been modified slightly from last year. While the application has been thoroughly tested, and every known bug has been fixed, it is possible that you may run into some unique problem. If you do run into any problems preparing your application online, PLEASE immediately.
Significant changes in this document from last year are highlighted by the New! icon.
The major changes this year relate to identifying project location (which reverts back to past years' requirements i.e. requiring PLSS Township/Range/Section information), specifying whether match is "cash" or "in-kind", and whether or not federal funds will be used for match. You will no longer need to use IDNR's online Ecological Compliance Assessment Tool (EcoCAT) to submit an environmental consultation request upon completion of your C2000 Ecosystem Project Grant application - that will done by DNR staff.
Before you go online, please print out a hard copy of the application, along with the program guidance, and this document too. At the very least, you should pencil in your responses directly on the printed application. Some of the questions require quite lengthy answers, e.g. the Project Abstract and Project Description. Before answering those questions online, it is suggested you first compose and then edit your answers using a wordprocessor or text editor. That way, you can spell-check your answers, and make sure they don't exceed the word/character limits.
We value your feedback. Making this application into a better product than last year's was possible in part because you took the time to let us know which features you liked or didn't like. Please feel free to with comments, concerns and suggestions at any time.
Table of Contents
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First Time User Sign-up
When signing up for the first time, please provide the following information:
Please identify/choose the Ecosystem Partnership area where the project is proposed.
Refer to the current listing of partnerships at http://dnr.state.il.us/orep/pfc/ecosystem/partnerships/.
If your project falls in an "overlay region" (area represented by more than one partnership), please choose the partnership to which you will pre-submit your application.
While applicants are strongly encouraged to pre-submit project applications to the appropriate Local Partnership Councils (LPCs) for their review and comments before completing their formal submissions to IDNR, that step is not required. All applications will be accepted and evaluated, but in making its funding recommendations the Department does take into account scores and comments posted by LPCs for all projects falling within the boundaries of their respective Ecosystem Partnerships.
Please provide the following information specific to the applicant for the grant
If the Project Manager is the same person as the Applicant, complete just the Applicant section
Project Manager (definitions same as for Applicant)
Project Abstract: Provide a brief summary of the project, including purpose, methods, participants and intended results (a.k.a. "who, what, when and where?") [no longer than 350 characters, including spaces, approx. 50 words]. Use of a wordprocessor or text editor is recommended, to edit, spell check and "word-count" this response before entering it (especially if using the online application). Save your wordprocessor/text-editor file as "text" to avoid transferring non-printable formatting characters that may not be compatible with online form text boxes.
Project Description: Provide a more detailed [3000 character = approx. 425 word] description of the project, including (if applicable) clarification of answers to any other questions on the application. The project description should explain in detail what will be done, where it will be done, when and by whom. It should also explain the relationship between project partners and the nature of their various contributions to the project, including (but not limited to) matching funds. Use of a wordprocessor or text editor is recommended, to edit, spell check and "word-count" this response before entering it (especially if using the online application). Save your wordprocessor/text-editor file as "text" to avoid transferring non-printable formatting characters that may not be compatible with online form text boxes.
To create paragraphs within this field, when using the online application, use "shift-enter" (once to create a new paragraph, twice to create a blank line between paragraphs).
Desired Start Date: Enter the date [mm/dd/yyyy format] that you expect the project to begin. For example, for February 1, 2009, enter 02/01/2009. This cannot be before January 1, 2009 (01/01/2009).
End Date: Enter the date [mm/dd/yyyy format] that you expect the project to be completed.
Partnership Goals: Enter in narrative form up to 3 goals specific to the Ecosystem Partnership in which the project will be undertaken [no longer than 200 characters, approx. 30 words each]. These goals should be taken from the Partnership's own documented plans and priorities.
Program Guidance: Refer to "Guidance To Local Partnership Councils for the Development of FY 09 C2000 Grants" (excerpted below).
High Quality Natural Areas: Acquire, Protect, and Restore Natural Resources of Local and State Significance.
The Program encourages acquisitions of land through fee simple purchase* to protect high quality natural habitats, Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) sites, habitat for endangered or threatened species, Advanced Identification of Disposal Areas (AIDI Wetlands), etc. Experience has shown that the greatest efficiency in purchasing interest in land is to acquire interest in large tracts involving a small number of landowners.
* if not obtainable, program will consider conservation easements.
Minimum Functional Habitat Area; Habitat Diversity: Acquire, Preserve, and Restore Habitat Areas which meet Minimum Functional Habitat Area Guidelines; or Ensure Diversity of Habitats.
The Department of Natural Resources has tried to develop guidelines, or standards, for minimum functional habitat areas during the past two years. However, these guidelines are difficult to develop because those guidelines must vary from one part of Illinois to another. Therefore, set guidelines have not yet been established. However, we continue to encourage Partnerships to recognize the value of significant blocks of habitat connected by travel corridors, and the need to provide multiple habitat types within a species home range (i.e., most wetland development species also require buffer and associated upland habitats).
Buffer to Protect Sensitive Areas: Create, Protect, and Restore Adequate Buffer to Protect Sensitive Habitats from Non-Compatible Land Uses.
Buffers are generally an area of permanent vegetation established around environmentally sensitive areas to protect them from the negative effects of adjacent land uses such as crop row agricultural, industrial, urban development or other areas of intensive human use. Buffer areas that are at least 70 feet on each side of a small stream (less than 25 feet wide) and 2.5 times the width of a large stream, reduce the direct disturbances and impacts from invasive species; filter, absorb, trap, and decompose sediment, nutrients, and pesticides; increase infiltration of rain and storm water; and reduce the effects from adjacent light sources and noise pollution. Studies have shown that buffers reduce delivery of herbicide runoff to receiving water bodies by 48%, and nitrogen and phosphorous by 60-90%.
Connect Habitat Areas.
Habitat linkages are important corridors to help plants and animals migrate between larger habitat areas. These connections can include streams and riparian corridors or any conservation corridor that provides a physical link between habitats.
Ecosystem-Based Best Management Practices (E-B/BMPs).
Best Management Practices (BMPs) include a broad range of conservation practices which individually or in combination help to reduce or prevent adverse impacts to the landscape or ecosystem. The Ecosystems Program promotes those BMPs which focus on direct habitat improvement. These practices are referred to by the Ecosystems Program as Ecosystem-Based Best Management Practices (E-B/BMPs). E-B/BMPs include the use of native plants except when non-native plants can be justified, increased buffer widths, extended de-watering times of certain water control structures, interspersion of habitat types, control of exotic species, prescribed burns, etc. The Program generally discourages the use of bendway weirs and dry dams except in unique circumstances. We will continue to provide guidance on other practices over time.
Restore and Naturalize Hydrologic Functions.
It is important to understand the relationship between upland and stream process before undertaking stream restoration or naturalization projects. Changes in stream conditions from specific actions such as stream channelization and urban development had a significant impact on streams during this past century. Stream bank and bed erosion, and excessive sedimentation are symptoms of a watershed adjusting to those changes.
Stream restoration or naturalization practices must take into account the degree of changes occurring within the watershed. All projects must be developed with an intent to restore or naturalize hydrologic function according to goals and objectives that best mimic natural conditions. Because original hydrologic conditions are often unknown, best professional estimates (based upon current data) of impacts from current and future land use practices must be used in conjunction with flow data to design in-stream habitat and other water resource development projects.
Complementary Educational Strategies: Develop Educational Strategies Which Complement Ecosystem Protection, Restoration, and Enhancement Activities.
Education is a tremendous tool for generating a lasting interest in natural resource issues and maintaining natural resources. A key to long term protection and enhancement of the state's resources is to support outreach and resource economic projects that provide an opportunity to promote ecosystem based practices..
Research and Monitoring Integration: Integrate Research and Monitoring into Partnerships and Program Work.
Research and monitoring are a foundation of the Ecosystems Program. The Critical Trends Assessment Program (CTAP) includes monitoring by professional scientists and other scientific research. These efforts develop an understanding of natural processes and what can be done to help restore the natural environment, and help measure your progress towards meeting your objectives. The Ecosystems Program will integrate this knowledge into the work of the Partnerships and the Program.
The Ecosystems Program encourages all Partnerships to participate in a monitoring program which will help you assess the natural resources within your Partnership and document resource changes as the result of your planning and project implementation process. Use of volunteer monitoring protocols is a low cost way to monitor the effectiveness of a project. Measuring the effectiveness of your efforts is important and use of information collected through this tool becomes increasingly significant as the program continues.
Research Projects which include monitoring components are encouraged to use the monitoring protocols adopted by the Critical Trends Assessment Project (CTAP). Methods should be modeled after the professional or volunteer procedures, depending upon project sampling requirements, and other protocols may be added to these basic procedures. C2000 will give priority to those projects that adopt these methods.
All projects should include provisions to submit results (datasets and narrative reports) electronically for inclusion on the C2000 website.
Local, State, and Federal Program Integration: Integrate the Ecosystems Program with Other Local, State, and Federal Programs and Initiatives.
The success of Ecosystem Partnerships and the Ecosystems Program is based upon our mutual ability to define our role so that we can work efficiently and effectively with other programs. There is a host of federal, state, and local programs which complement the mission of the Ecosystems Program. Among these are the Conservation Reserve and Enhancement Program (CREP), the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP), Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP), Landowner Incentive Program (LIP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Practices Program (CPP), Section 319 Program, The Marsh Program, and Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) to name a few. For further information, please visit the C2000 Natural Resources Grant Opportunities website.
The Ecosystems Program will seek to complement these and other compatible programs while not interfering with the incentive structure established for these programs. This is especially true where the Ecosystems Program can add a strong component of biodiversity to other efforts.
Quarterly Tasks: For each Quarterly Reporting Period shown, provide a brief (255-character = approx. 35-word) Task Description for the Quarter. Include key events or activities that will begin, occur or end during the period. Examples include constituent meetings, design meetings, bids from potential providers, land acquisition, landscape modification, final reports and so on.
For the period after the last listed reporting period, if applicable, please enter the dates for the remaining period of the contract, beginning at January 1, 2009, and list the corresponding tasks. This period need not be a quarter, if the project will last longer or shorter than an additional 3 months.
Anticipated Results: Fill in numeric values for as many performance measures as apply. At least one measure of Anticipated Results MUST be entered. Applications that list no Anticipated Results will be considered incomplete and will not be accepted.
Will C2000 funds be used for acquisition of land? If you answer "yes", you will have to answer the next four questions. If "no", skip directly to Land Disturbance Activities. If ONLY MATCHING funds will be used for land acquisition, the correct answer here is "no".
Type of Acquisition: Choose one of the following 3 choices:
Does there exist legal access for ingress and egress to the parcel to be acquired fee simple or to be encumbered by a conservation easement? [yes/no] If "no", provide explanation [100 characters, approx. 14 words]. If parcel does not abut a public right of way, grant applicant must demonstrate that a legal agreement exists with adjoining landowner(s) to permit access to the parcel.
Are there any pre-existing real estate purchase agreements encumbering the property? [yes/no] If "yes", provide explanation [255 characters, approx. 35 words]. Land that is already encumbered by an existing real estate purchase agreement may not be acquired or encumbered through a C2000 Ecosystems Program Project Grant.
Has the property been encumbered by a federal or state program? [yes/no] If "yes", provide explanation [255 characters, approx. 35 words]. For example, land that is enrolled in a federal program, such as CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) or a state program such as Forestry Development Act.
Is there drain tiling? [yes/no] If "yes", will the drain tiling be destroyed or removed [if the project is funded]? Choices are "yes", "no" and "don't know".
Have all landowners been informed of this proposed project? [yes/no] If "no", please explain why not.
Are there any structures located on the property? [yes/no] If "yes", CERP requires you to attach photos of structures on property to be acquired, for historical resources review. If any structures are found to be historically significant, then their protection would be a condition of the grant, if funded.
Will any federal funds be used in the acquisition purchase? [yes/no] If "yes", you will be reminded to provide that information in the Match Source section of the budget.
Land/Vegetation Disturbance Activities:
Will there be any land/vegetation disturbance? [yes/no] If the project will involve any type of land or vegetation disturbance, such as use of heavy equipment, tree removal, in-stream construction, borrow or deposition of soil, or construction of wetlands or water retention structures, all of the following questions must be answered.
Show the access route on the site map and indicate if it is an existing route (choose 1 of the following 4 choices)
Will the land disturbance involve heavy equipment? [yes/no] If "yes", identify the type(s) of equipment that will be used [100 characters, approx. 14 words]. Heavy equipment includes but is not limited to any equipment that will be used to move earth, remove trees, logs and stumps.
Will it involve tree removal? [yes/no] If "yes", describe the dominant tree cover, and number and average size (d.b.h. = diameter, base and height) of trees being removed [100 characters, approx. 14 words].
Will there be in-stream construction? [yes/no] If "yes", estimate duration and season when channel disturbance will occur [100 characters, approx. 14 words]. In-stream construction refers to but is not limited to the reshaping of the banks of the stream, disturbing the stream bed with sediment and/or equipment, and placement of structures in the channel (rock, logs, culverts, water control, etc.).
Will there be designated borrow and deposition sites for soil? [yes/no] If "yes", describe location [100 characters, approx. 14 words] and show clearly on site map. Borrow and deposition sites for soil refers to locations where needed soil is removed from and surplus soil is deposited, respectively.
Will wetland or water retention structures be constructed? [yes/no] If "yes", detail depth of excavation and estimated water depth [50 characters, approx. 7 words] and show proposed structures clearly on the site map. Water retention structures refer to actual sediment basins, dikes, culverts, water control devices, sediment berms, dry dams, levees or any other means used to retain, control or direct water flows.
Budget Information: Your total project budget includes all costs related to the project, whether paid with C-2000 funds or from other (matching) sources. The total project cost must be broken out by line item (personnel, equipment, commodities, contractual services, acquisition/easement, and other). In addition, your project budget must specify, by line item, the amounts of C-2000 funds requested.
Within each budget category, you will first be asked how many budget items you have in that category. When you select the desired number of items from a drop-down list, that number of rows will appear in the budget form for that budget category. For example, if there are to be 6 entries in the Personnel category, select "6" from the drop-down to provide 6 rows in the budget form.
If you accidentally choose more rows than you need, it is OK to leave one or more entire rows empty, so long as you check the "Check to Delete" checkbox for all unwanted rows. You *might* need to make nominal entries ("a" or "1", for example) in all the cells in an unneeded row and check the delete box in order to proceed to the next page. The unneeded row and its nominal entries will not be saved.
Personnel: Costs directly related to project and support staff. List each individual or position title separately, and provide the following information for each:
Total Personnel: If you're using the online application, this will be calculated automatically. If you're using the "offline" version, add up the individual amounts in the Total $ Amount column, enter the result in this space and also in the Budget Summary, in the Project Total column, Personnel row.
Equipment: Any items costing $100.00 or more, individually (other than items which are inherently expendable or consumable) are classified as equipment. For example, a piece of prairie-burning equipment costing $100.00 or more would be classified as equipment, but wildgrass seed for planting would be listed instead as a commodity (see below). List each type of equipment separately. If you're using the online application, there is no limit to how many individual equipment entries you may make. If using the "offline" version, the limit is 4 so you may need to group the lower total cost equipment types. List the larger total amount equipment types first, individually. For each equipment entry, provide the following information:
Total Equipment: If you're using the online application, this will be calculated automatically. If you're using the "offline" version, add up the individual amounts in the Total $ Amount column, enter the result in this space and also in the Budget Summary, in the Project Total column, Equipment row.
Commodities: Items or supplies that are inherently expendable or consumable, and also items which individually cost $99.99 or less are classified as commodities. Examples include wildgrass seed for planting, office supplies like paper and envelopes, pens and pencils, toner for printers and copiers, and non-office supplies like cleaning materials, and existing brochures acquired directly from a publisher or distributor.
Total Commodities: If you're using the online application, this will be calculated automatically. If you're using the "offline" version, add up the individual amounts in the Total $ Amount column, enter the result in this space and also in the Budget Summary, in the Project Total column, Commodities row.
Contractual Services: Contractual Services refers to the delivery of services by businesses or individuals who are not project/applicant employees. Examples include Bank Stabilization, Computer Software, Construction, Construction Oversight, Engineering Services, Graphic/Artist Services, Heavy Equipment, Herbicide Application, Invasives Removal, Legal, Pre-Assessment, Post-Assessment, Re-vegetaion, Tile Removal, Other. Title Work, Surveying, Appraisals, Legal, Closing Costs, etc. related to Land Acquisition are now to be reported in the Acquisition/Easement part of the budget (see below).
Total Contractual Services: If you're using the online application, this will be calculated automatically. If you're using the "offline" version, add up the individual amounts in the Total $ Amount column, enter the result in this space and also in the Budget Summary, in the Project Total column, Contractual Services row.
Acquisition/Easement: Fill out this section only if the project will involve land acquisition and/or easements. If you're filling out the application online and you answered "no" to the question "Will the project involve acquisition of land?", you will automatically skip this step. Online, you will need to specify the number of acres involved, and the cost per acre (for an unlimited number of individual parcels). "Offline", you'll be able to list up to four individual parcels, each with its own cost per acre (if applicable).
Total Acquisition/Easement: If you're using the online application, this will be calculated automatically. If you're using the "offline" version, add up the individual amounts in the Total $ Amount column, enter the result in this space and also in the Budget Summary, in the Project Total column, Acquisition/Easement row.
Other: This includes employee fringe benefits, if NOT included in the hourly rate, and any indirect, overhead, or administrative costs as well as any other expenses not included in any of the preceding budget categories. The maximum amount of indirect, overhead, or administrative costs that may be budgeted is limited to 10% of the C2000 project costs. In any event, the maximum amount of indirect, overhead, or administrative costs that will be paid is limited to 10% of the lesser of actual and budgeted C2000 project costs.
Total Other: If you're using the online application, this will be calculated automatically. If you're using the "offline" version, add up the individual amounts in the Total $ Amount column, enter the result in this space and also in the Budget Summary, in the Project Total column, Other row. Include cents, if applicable, but omit $ signs and commas
Total Budget: If you're using the online application, this will be calculated automatically. If you're using the "offline" version, add up the individual line item totals, enter the result in this space and also in the Budget Summary, in the Project Total column, Total row.
Budget Summary: This is where the individual line item totals are entered and where you must specify, by line item, the amounts of C-2000 funds requested. If you're using the online application, the corresponding Matching Funds amounts will be calculated automatically. If using the "offline" version, you will need to subtract the C-2000 Funds Requested from the Project Total, for each line item, and enter the result in the corresponding row in the Matching Funds column.
C-2000 Funds Requested: For each line item, specify the amount being requested. You are not required to enter an amount for every line item, but in each line item the amount requested obviously may not exceed the Project Total for that line item. Total the amounts requested for all line items and enter the result in the Total row. This will be done automatically if you're using the online application.
Matching Funds: If you're using the online application, these amounts will be calculated automatically. If you're using the "offline" version, for each line item, subtract the C-2000 Funds Requested from the corresponding amount in the Project Total column, and enter the result in the Matching Funds column. Total the Matching Funds for all line items and enter the result in the Total row (automatic if online).
Sources of Matching Funds: List the individual sources of matching funds.
Using the drop-down menu, select the number corresponding to the number of distinct match sources (up to 10). For each source, briefly identify the source (75 characters, approx. 10 words), choose the Category from the dropdown list (e.g. County/Local Government, Private Foundation, etc.), specify the Type from the dropdown (C for cash, I for in-kind), and enter the amount from that source in the Matching Funds column. If you answered "yes" to the question "Will any federal funds be used in the acquisition purchase?" in the Land Acquisition section of the application, you will be prompted to identify at least one Source with "Federal Government" selected as the Category. For the "offline" version only, space is provided for 4 individual matching funds sources. If the number of sources exceeds 4, list the 3 largest sources individually then group the remaining sources as source # 4 and list the grouped sources in the project description.
Total Match: This will be calculated automatically if you're using the online application. If using the "offline" version, total the contributions from sources 1 through 4 and enter the result as Total Match. This amount must equal the figure in the Total row of the Matching Funds column.
For all projects involving a specific geographic location: All applications must include a USGS MAP of the project area clearly showing access routes and locations of any/all natural resources that will be acquired, restored or disturbed. All maps and/or drawings must show a North direction arrow and identify the map's scale. USGS map name, County, Township, Range and Section must be clearly shown. Colors, highlighting and shading are allowed. Please outline the project area on the map. In addition to the required USGS map, secondary maps may be of the following types: county plat map, project site map, design drawing.
If you do not already have a suitable topographic map of the project area, there are various sites on the web where you can generate a map online or download a map to your computer. Some of those sites include (in no particular order):
USGS Map Locator and Downloader
offroute.com Custom Topo or Photo Maps
The National Map
National Geographic Maps
USGS Digital Raster Graphics
If you know of addtional mapping sites, please .
Please do not submit published reports or other published documents. These should instead be cited in the in the Project Description.
Note: A rate certification letter from an accountant or financial officer will be required for all funded projects that request C2000 funds for indirect, overhead, or administrative costs, or that propose to use indirect, overhead, or administrative costs as match, BEFORE a grant agreement can be executed. A current financial report or audit report should be the basis of the rate being claimed and may be requested as a supplement to the certification letter. The program cannot pay for any indirect, overhead, or administrative costs without this documentation. However, the rate certification letter or report should NOT be submitted as part of the application process. The maximum amount of indirect, overhead, or administrative costs that will be paid is limited to 10% of the lesser of actual and budgeted C2000 project costs. Indirect, overhead, or administrative costs supported by a rate certification letter in excess of the 10% limit may be counted as match.
Submitting Attachments: Certain types of attachments may now be uploaded directly from the online grant application.
If the attachment(s) you need to submit with your application (see above) exist in an electronic form as PDFs [preferred format], JPG/JPEGs, GIFs, TIFs, or TXTs, then you may upload them with your application instead of printing them out and mailing them in an envelope. You may upload as many attachments as you need, the only restriction is that the total size of all uploaded files may not exceed 3.0 MB per application. If you are not comfortable with uploading your attachments, you may still mail them in. If you already have electronic versions of your attachments, please note that uploading them will both simplify the application logging process, and improve the quality of the attachments that are seen by the reviewers.
To upload one or more attachments with your application, proceed to the Attachments page of the application. Click the browse button to navigate to the location on your computer where your attachment files are stored. The files must already be on your computer (or computer's desktop), either on your hard drive (or network drive) or on a removable medium such as a CD, ZIP or floppy disk, or digital media card (such as SD, SmartMedia, CompactFlash, MemoryStick, etc.). With each file you choose to upload you may enter a brief description of the attachment for the benefit of the project reviewers. Once you've located each file to upload and entered a description (optional), click the Upload button to begin the process.
How quickly your attachments are uploaded will depend on the speed of your internet connection, and on how busy our server is. You should definitely "upload early" to avoid the last minute rush. You may return at any time, prior to formally submitting your application, to enter or modify the descriptions you associate with each uploaded file. When you have finished uploading the attachment files, or if you choose to mail in hardcopies instead, click the Continue button to proceed to the next step in the application process.
If you mail in your attachments, please submit no more than 3 attachments [no more than 6 pages total] for each application. Additional attachments will be ignored. All mailed-in attachments must be on 8.5 x 11 inch paper, wherever possible. Print the Project Number (assigned once the application has been "formally submitted") on each attachment and on the address label. Mail all attachments [postmarked no later than Friday, February 29, 2008] to the "Mailing Hard-copies" address shown below. If you submit your application online well before the application deadline, please assist us by mailing your attachments as soon after submitting your application as possible.
Mailing Hard-copies and attachments: If you choose not to file your application (or attachments) online, you must mail it (them) in hard-copy form to the following address:
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
ATTN: C-2000 Grant Application FY 09
1 Natural Resources Way
Springfield IL 62702-1271
All hard-copy applications must be postmarked no later than Thursday, January 31, 2008.
Hard-copy attachments to completed online applications must be postmarked no later than Friday, February 29, 2008 (if not uploaded).
Online applications (and uploaded attachments) must be completed and formally submitted no later than 5:00 PM CST, Friday February 29, 2008.