QC Wild Places receives foundation grant

River Action's QC Wild Places program has received a $20,000 grant each year for the next five years from the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend to help fund site improvements, conservation efforts, community outreach and awareness of Wild places in Rock Island County.

This year's funds will be used toward updating the QC Wild Places map and brochure, developing an eco-tourism plan, and site improvements and conservation efforts at Black Hawk State Historic Site and Green Valley Nature Preserve.

QC Wild Places was established in 2011 with the support of the Community Foundation as a way to combine the efforts of local natural areas and their managing organizations in collaboration with River Action and area funders.

Because wilderness areas are run by various organizations with staff and budgets of varying sizes, it is often difficult for them to receive the funding and publicity they need to increase awareness and make improvements. QC Wild Places is a program dedicated to preserving natural areas around the Quad Cities through service, funding, and awareness.

Member sites are located in eight counties around the Quad City region all within an hour’s drive of the Quad Cities.

The program brings together 63 natural areas run by 19 organizations and 27 site managers.

Recent projects funded by QC Wild Places include wetland restoration at Green Valley Nature Preserve, a mountain bike trail extension at Sunderbruch Park in Davenport, the construction of a new footbridge at Black Hawk State Historic Site in Rock Island, a trail identification system at Illiniwek Forest Preserve near Hampton, a viewing platform at Nahant Marsh, Davenport.

Since 1964, the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend has been dedicated to supporting local nonprofit organizations in the community.

“QC Wild Places is a great example of how the Community Foundation can partner with non-profits beyond traditional grant-making,” said Matt Mendenhall, vice president of programs at the foundation. “Our membership in the River Partnership of Community Foundations has helped us bring national funding and expertise to QC Wild Places, and we look forward to that type of success with other local non-profits.”