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Educator Resources

Classroom Support Materials

Classroom material packets consist of three to seven print-ready resources such as:   

  • In-Class Activities 
  • Topic Specific Glossary 
  • Recommended Resource Loan Kits 
  • Student Worksheets 
  • Outdoor Activities for School Grounds 
  • Student Copy Pages 
  • Recommended Student Readings

Activities and resources can be adapted to work for a range of grades. The 10 most popular topics are available here.

Don’t see the topic you’re looking for? More than 25 additional packets are available! Topics include: Native American Culture, Decomposition, Botany, Forestry, Water as a Resource, Restoration, Insects, Jolliet & Marquette, River Commerce, Edible Plants, Urban Wildlife, and  Watersheds. To request additional classroom support materials, email or call 815.722.2025.

EE Grants

Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant

Teachers and youth group leaders may apply for this competitive grant program to develop or enhance wildlife habitat in the schoolyard or other public place. The grant is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Conservation Foundation. This grant program awards up to $1,000 per grant and the deadline for submission is November 30 and January 31 each school year. For more information or to apply for a grant, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website.

Target Field Trip Grants

Would you like to take your students on a field trip, but the challenge of funding is holding you back? Consider applying for a Target grant for class field trips. Each year, Target supports teachers across the country, providing small, one-time grants to help fund out-of-class learning experiences. This grant program awards up to $700 per grant, and the deadline for submission is September 30 annually. For more information or to apply for a grant, visit the Target website

Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant

Illinois teachers and home school educators may apply to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to receive funding for natural resources related field trips. This grant program awards up to $500 per teacher, and the deadline for submission is January 31 annually. For more information or to apply for a grant, visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website.

Wildlife Acoustics Scientific Product Grant

Wildlife Acoustics is giving away up to $5,000 in hardware and software each fiscal quarter, $20,000 annually. This is a global program which awards bioacoustics products to everyone from professional bioacousticians to grade school teachers affiliated with a charitable, educational or other tax exempt organization. Visit the Wildlife Acoustics website for application deadlines for each quarter. 

Environmental Justice Small Grants

The Environmental Justice Small Grants Request for Proposals (RFP) is open from November through January each year. Information related to the RFP and the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program can be found on the EPA Environmental Justice website

Resource Loan Kits

Topic-themed kits are available for teachers and home school parents. These kits are provided by the Forest Preserve District and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Click on any of the resource loan kit titles below to download a checklist of kit contents.

These resource loan kits are a collection of educational materials that help students explore. Kits are available for a two-week loan period without rental fees.

However, lost, broken or missing items will be paid for by the rentee. To reserve kits and arrange for pickup and drop-off at the Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet, call 815.722.5892.


Here to help

School programs offer hands-on learning incorporating science, social studies, history, art, math and language arts.

Contact the Education Office at 815.722.2025 and tell us how we can be a resource to you and your students.

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