SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) on Tuesday announced it’s launching a new website: Conservation Inclusive Construction and Development Archive (CICADA).
A press release says it’s an online resource that engages the public and private sectors in habitat protection, restoration, and biodiversity conservation through voluntary actions.
IDNR says it serves as a one-stop-shop for residential and private landowners, plus commercial and industrial sectors. There, they can find online guidance and ideas to make their properties or development projects more wildlife-friendly.
“With approximately 97% of land in Illinois in private ownership, it will take everyone working together to help address these challenges,” said IDNR Director Colleen Callahan. “From adding small pollinator gardens and nest boxes in backyards, to improving habitat on larger private properties, to implementing environmentally-responsible construction practices, CICADA has something for everyone to engage in habitat conservation.”
“The IDNR and partners developed CICADA in recognition that habitat loss, degradation, and biodiversity conservation are major challenges facing current generations in Illinois and around the world,” says IDNR Impact Assessment Manager Nathan Grider.
The press release says Grider’s department spearheaded the project.
“Together, we pulled information from a variety of IDNR and partner programs to make the site as accessible and user-friendly as possible,” he says.
IDNR says each conservation topic has short, “fun-to-read” instructions and ‘how-to’ documents on habitat management guidance. There are also more in-depth technical documents.
CICADA will also link online visitors to assistance programs for landowners, conservation tax-deductible donation opportunities through the Illinois Conservation Foundation, and more.
IDNR says it also has a project showcase page, where habitat-friendly projects can be submitted by the public for consideration. That’s to help inspire others and share ideas.
There’s also information on how people can certify habitat projects with various organizations.
“The CICADA website has something for everyone to engage more in conservation and have fun doing it,” Grider says. “The timing couldn’t be better with so much increasing public interest in these important topics.”
IDNR says it partnered with The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, a division of Lewis and Clark Community College, and 2WAV software developers for the project.
“Funding was provided through the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund dedicated for preserving, protecting, perpetuating, and enhancing non-game wildlife in the state.”