Skip to main content.
Nicor Gas building

Nicor Gas awards $100,000 in environmental stewardship grants to 21 community organizations

NAPERVILLE, IL – August 16, 2023 – Today, Nicor Gas is announcing $100,000 in environmental stewardship grants for organizations and nonprofits across the company’s service territory that are committed to providing equitable access to natural green spaces and enhancing sustainability activities that make a meaningful impact. 

“We are proud to support organizations across the state that are dedicated to being good environmental stewards in the more than 650 communities we serve every day,” said Jackie Nagel, manager of Community Affairs at Nicor Gas. “As the largest natural gas provider in Illinois, we believe in investing in meaningful projects that align with our focus to preserve green space and improve sustainability efforts.”

This year, Nicor Gas is proud to award 21 organizations with grants up to $5,000 to support their environmental initiatives, including:

Boone County:

  • Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center – Supports the conservation of the wildlife population and the delicate ecosystem through the care of injured and orphaned wildlife.
  • Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful – Supports environmental education in classrooms and at community events in Boone and neighboring counties.

Cook County:

  • Forest Preserve Foundation, Inc. – Supports experiential learning and employment opportunities in conservation for youth served by the Housing Authority of Cook County.
  • Friends of the Forest Preserves of Cook County – Supports improvement of volunteer, engagement and workforce development programs while creating new opportunities in responses to community needs.

DeKalb County:

  • Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves – Supports the surveying of sites in the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory to steward and protect the land.
  • Oaken Acres Wildlife Refuge & Rehab Center – Supports the creation of a healthy habitat at Oaken Acres through the removal of Reed Canary Grass and the planting of native prairie plants and rye grass.

Kankakee County/Pembroke Township:

  • Redd Sage Farms Ltd. – Supports the establishment of a thriving pollinator habitat that complements and bolsters the existing community conservation initiatives dedicated to preserving indigenous flora and fauna.  

Lake County:

  • Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves – Supports the restoration of the forest preserve through the removal of invasive species and installation of native seeds, encouraging a healthy habitat.

McHenry County

  • Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge – Supports ecological restoration of land near Richmond, Ill. through invasive species removal. 
  • Land Conservancy of McHenry County – Supports the planting of native shrubs, wildflowers and other pollinator-friendly species on 1.5 acres of the Thompson Road Conservation Area.
  • McHenry County Conservation Foundation – Supports efforts to increase the population of the elk toe mussel in the Nippersink Creek and its tributaries.

McLean County:

  • Ecology Action Center – Supports the planting of trees in Bloomington-Normal neighborhoods that can benefit the most from improved air quality.
  • John Wesley Powell Audubon Society – Supports native plant seed distribution at local public parks with natural areas undergoing restoration.

Northern Illinois Region (DuPage, Kane & Will County):

  • Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois’ gROWing Chicago Habitat – Supports conversations among 60 Rights of Way organizations, conservation groups, and public and private landowners to create natural landscapes to protect the ecosystem.
  • Conservation Foundation – Supports the Mighty Acorn program, which serves under-resourced communities and builds relationships with students while instilling an understanding of natural science.
  • Friends of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County – Supports interpretive exhibits and programs about wildlife and habitat restoration.
  • Friends of the Forest Preserve District of Will County – Supports native plant sale events and free native plant seminars.
  • The GardenWorks Project – Supports food waste diversion efforts and provides public educational opportunities that promote environmental stewardship.

Ogle County:

  • Ogle Natural Areas Alliance – Supports the restoration and conservation of Oak/Hickory Forest and the floodplain forest along the Black Trails in Weld Memorial Park.

Winnebago County:

  • Natural Land Institute – Supports the protection, management and restoration of natural land for local communities including invasive species removal, prescribed burns and native species seeding.
  • Severson Dells Nature Center – Supports “Science Saturdays,” an opportunity for learners of all ages to engage in hands-on nature education, fostering engagement in building sustainable communities.

To learn more about Nicor Gas’ commitment to protecting the environment and giving back to the communities it serves, visit

About Nicor Gas
Nicor Gas is one of four natural gas distribution companies of Southern Company Gas, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company (NYSE: SO). Nicor Gas serves more than 2.3 million customers in a service territory that encompasses most of the northern third of Illinois, excluding the city of Chicago. For more information, visit

About Southern Company Gas
Southern Company Gas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE:SO), America’s premier energy company. Southern Company Gas serves approximately 4.3 million natural gas customers through its regulated distribution companies in four states with approximately 600,000 retail customers through its companies that market natural gas. Other businesses include investments in interstate pipelines and ownership and operation of natural gas storage facilities. For more information, visit 

Media Contact:
Allison Gregoire