DuPage grant to FNA kick-starts new restoration effort

On Dec. 7, Rod Walton (left) and Ryan Campbell (middle) of FNA received a grant from Frank Hudetz (right), a trustee at the DuPage Community Foundation.

Fermilab Natural Areas (FNA) was awarded a $7,500 grant from the DuPage Community Foundation on Dec. 7. The grant will go toward the ongoing restoration of habitat within the main ring, with a particular focus on restoring the woodland savanna.

FNA hopes to remove the weedier trees, shrubs and invasive species that occupy nearly two-thirds of the 35-acre savanna. This will help restore the area to a diverse savanna ecosystem. Work will begin this winter.

Though many Fermilab employees and others volunteer with FNA, the nonprofit group is fiscally and organizationally separate from the laboratory. As FNA field project manager Ryan Campbell explained, Fermilab recognizes the value of natural spaces and wants to encourage the group.

“FNA is overall pretty excited about the grant,” he said. “We’ve been trying to get this funded for a while.”

FNA president Rod Walton emphasized the value of the area as a community asset.

“We want to use this as an opportunity to get volunteers involved and give not only employees but people in the region a sense of ownership of the natural areas,” Walton said.

The DuPage Community Foundation also gave 30 grants to other local nonprofit organizations within the areas of arts, culture, education, environment, health and human services.

To achieve its ecological goals, FNA is always seeking new members. Fermilab employees can also donate to FNA through payroll deductions. For more information on the group, click here.

Brad Hooker