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ComEd, Openlands Support Sustainable Communities in Northern Illinois with 26 Environmental Grants

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More than $200,000 in funding granted to open space projects

To support the planning, acquisition, and improvement of local parks,
natural areas, and recreation resources, ComEd and Openlands today
announced grants from the ComEd Green Region Program to 26 recipients
throughout northern Illinois. The grantees, which range from local
municipalities to park districts and forest preserves, will each receive
up to $10,000 to support open space projects.

This marks the sixth year that ComEd is partnering with Openlands, one
of the oldest metropolitan conservation organizations in the nation, for
the Green Region Program. Due to tremendous interest in pollinator
conservation during the 2017 grant cycle, the 2018 ComEd Green Region
Program again featured a special focus on projects that help pollinators
like butterflies and bees. Illinois is home to thousands of native
pollinator species, which provide critical support to our region's
flowering and food plant populations. Since the program's inception,
ComEd has awarded a total of more than $1,125,000 to communities in
northern Illinois for environmental projects.

"ComEd is committed to powering a cleaner and brighter future for our
customers and communities. By advancing green initiatives through the
Green Region Program, we help enable grant recipients to transform their
local communities," said Fidel
Marquez
, senior vice president of governmental and external affairs
at ComEd. "Our partnership with Openlands these past six years helps
both the environment and helps our customers to enjoy their communities
even more."

ComEd and Openlands share a commitment
to supporting communities
across the region in their efforts to
advance green initiatives. The Green Region partnership is one of the
many ways that this commitment is realized. ComEd provides the funding
for the program, and Openlands administers the program.

"At Openlands, we believe nature is vital to all people and that
everyone should have access to parks, trails, and green space close to
home," said Openlands President and CEO Jerry Adelmann. "ComEd's
continued support through the Green Region Program has brought this
vision to life, allowing communities to invest in open space projects
that bring joy to citizens where they live, work, and play."

Earlier this year, municipalities throughout northern Illinois submitted
their grant applications, and an advisory committee composed of county
government officials and members of the region's conservation community
reviewed the applications.

Additional information on the ComEd Green Region Program can be found at www.openlands.org/greenregion.

The 26 Green Region grant recipients for 2018 are:

Planting for Pollinators (Arlington Heights Park District): This
project will rejuvenate the shores and natural areas of Lake Arlington
with vast amounts of showy, colorful wildflowers, soft grasses, and tree
canopies, providing enjoyment to park users and increased water quality
and habitat to wildlife.

Maple Crest Nursing Home Walking Area (County of Boone): This
project will create a walking and exercise area for residents at the
Maple Crest Nursing Home. An open space currently exists on Boone
County-owned land north of the facility that will be modified with
landscaping and prairie grass, complete with a walking path and benches.

Aunt Genevieve Pollinator Habitat (Village of Bradley): This
project will support a multi-phase process to establish a pollinator
habitat, natural playground, community garden, and nature area in a
donated parcel of land in the central part of the Village. It will
include raised beds to establish pollinating plants, adding to the
community's green space and ultimately serving as an educational tool
for the local community.

Illinois Prairie Path History and Heritage Sign Initiative (County of
DuPage – Division of Transportation):
This project will install two
educational and interactive trail signs. Each sign will highlight major
accomplishments of the path's volunteers who helped inspire America's
rails-to-trails movement, with the goal of reaching future generations
of grassroots environmental advocates.

NeighborSpace: El Paseo Community Garden Expansion (Forest Preserve
District of Cook County):
This project will help to create an
interpretive experience within the existing garden and along the
proposed rails-to-trails path, El Paseo. The experience will include a
permaculture site, prairie expansion, butterfly, bird, and bat houses,
and beehives.

Ecological Restoration of Oakdale Nature Preserve (Freeport Park
District):
This project will remove invasive species from
approximately 10 acres of native upland forest communities, which
provide habitat for native plant and animal species, including
cavity-nesting bird species and bats.

Pollinator Habitat Improvement Along the North Shore Channel (City of
Evanston):
This project will help establish pollinator habitat in
public lands bordering the North Shore Channel: Evanston's Ladd
Arboretum, Harbert Park, and Twiggs Park. It will increase recreational
and educational opportunities for the community, while providing
critical habitat for birds and other pollinators.

Prairie Park Restoration (Village of Frankfort): This project
will remove invasive species and encourage the return of native plants
and pollinators. Public involvement will increase the visibility of the
project, while educating visitors about the importance of native plants
in the Frankfort area.

A Plan for Monarchs and Public Gardens in Glenview (Village of
Glenview):
This project will create four high-visibility, public
monarch butterfly gardens that will expand and connect a growing habitat
network throughout the Village of Glenview. In conjunction, a
research-based monarch conservation plan and a supportive review of
codes and ordinances will be completed with public participation,
education, and events.

Pollinators in the Parks (Village of Grant Park): This project
will expand butterfly and pollinator garden areas and introduce
informational signs about pollinators and a seating bench area to the
butterfly garden. It will also provide classes (pre-K to 3rd grade) on
pollinators and gardens, as well as jobs for teens to care for planted
areas and their pollinator inhabitants.

The Gathering Place (Village of Hainesville): This project will
convert a deteriorated prairie into a "Gathering Place." The Gathering
Place will serve as a centrally-located area for residents and the
public to observe and appreciate the view of native trees, shrubs,
grasses, and flowers designed to attract butterflies and other
pollinators.

Brierwood Preserve – A Migratory Monarch Project (Village of Hawthorn
Woods):
This project will extend the Village's habitat restoration
work to the adjacent public wetland area and connect to a new
seven-acre, mono-culture wetland.

Pollinator Support Through Oak Restoration at Irons Oaks (Homewood
Flossmoor Park District – Irons Oaks):
This project will result in
habitat improvement and pollinator protection. It aims to plant and
protect young oak trees and educate visitors about the importance of oak
forests for pollinator support.

Pilcher Park – Reinvesting in Woodland Ecosystem Management (Joliet
Park District):
This project will re-establish a 640-acre pollinator
habitat, which will begin to heal the woodlands and enable wildflowers,
grasses, and sedges to flourish once again.

Limestone Park Pollinator Bioswale (Limestone Township Park District):
This project will convert a ditch that drains the Park District's
baseball diamonds into a diverse pollinator bioswale.

Pollinator Habitat and River Landing (Village of Northfield):
This project will include the removal of invasive species and the
planting of a native pollinator garden along a segment of the Chicago
River adjacent to the North Branch Trail. It will improve the area with
an ADA-compliant boardwalk and landing, with educational signage to
immerse visitors in the pollinator habitat.

Pollinator Meadows at Oak Forest Commuter Train Station (City of Oak
Forest):
This project will establish pollinator meadows and enhance
monarch butterfly habitat near Oak Forest's commuter train station.
Educational signage will serve to inform the public about pollinators
and pollinator conservation, as well as provide links to additional
resources available online.

Pingree Grove Forest Preserve Park – Butterfly Garden (Village of
Pingree Grove):
This project will create an inspiring butterfly
garden to serve as a gateway entrance to the trailhead of the Pingree
Grove Forest Preserve. It will transform the area of open grasslands and
wetlands into a colorful oasis of flowers and natural habitat to attract
pollinators to the plants and people to the park.

Riverside's Nature by Design (Village of Riverside): This project
will boost Riverside's natural resources to become a destination for
wildlife and wildlife watchers alike.

Riverwoods Village Hall Woodland Restoration Project (Village of
Riverwoods):
This project will promote the health of woodland
pollinators via habitat enhancement and the education of remnant oak
woodlands and rare northern flatwoods. The project involves enhancing
nearly five acres of old growth oak woodlands and northern flatwoods by
removing invasive shrubs and tree saplings.

Leading the Way: Enhancing Suburban Pollinator Habitats (Village of
Trout Valley):
This project will provide additional pollinator
habitat in a heavily-developed suburban site by enhancing the quality of
the buffer around an existing natural area. It will also install a
monarch waystation that will showcase the benefits of helping
pollinators in backyard habitat pockets.

Muingan Park Development (Village of Waterman): This project
continues the development of an open lot into a community park. The
final phase of development will include additional plantings, a
pavilion, a sundial, and educational signs to promote STEM education. It
will also resurface the walking path.

Tallgrass Prairie Restoration at Prairie Bluff Preserve (Forest
Preserve District of Will County):
This project will establish
native plants and control invasive plant species. Additionally, the
restoration will provide a feeding ground and buffer habitat for the
federally-endangered Hine's Emerald Dragonfly in the adjacent dolomite
prairie preserve.

Cedar Cliff Trailhead Pollinator Habitat (Forest Preserves of
Winnebago County):
This project will remove invasive trees and
understory to establish a shortgrass prairie along a small creek. The
goal is to improve pollinator habitat, allow visitors to experience
native prairie, and improve site aesthetics.

Triangle Park Restoration Project (Woodridge Park District): This
project includes 650 linear feet of stream re-meandering and the mowing
of a walking spur trail from the existing asphalt path. Additionally,
nearly two acres of turf will be converted into native plantings for
pollinator habitat, with the construction of a half-acre of native
wetland habitat from existing turf.

Ophir Park – Wetland Pollinator Planting Project (Zion Park District):
This project will convert a previous playground and turf area into
pollinator and naturalized garden space with educational signage and
sitting benches. The project will create a more diverse habitat that
provides pollinators with the resources they need to thrive.

About ComEd

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon
Corporation (NYSE:EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy
provider, with approximately 10 million customers. ComEd provides
service to approximately 4 million customers across northern Illinois,
or 70 percent of the state's population. For more information visit
ComEd.com,
and connect with the company on
Facebook,
Twitter,
and
YouTube.

About Openlands

Founded in 1963, Openlands is one of the nation's oldest and most
successful metropolitan conservation organizations, having helped
secure, protect, and provide public access to more than 55,000 acres of
land for parks, forest preserves, wildlife refuges, land and
water greenway corridors, and urban gardens. For more information, visit
www.openlands.org.

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