Joliet Junior College Awarded National Wildlife Federation Grant

Joliet Junior College (JJC) is one of eight U.S. colleges and universities to be a 2023-2024 recipient of the National Wildlife Federation EcoLeaders® program, funded by Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom’s College and University Grant Program.

JJC’s grant award is $8,500 and will primarily be used to conduct research on threatened or endangered species on Main Campus. This includes a survey of the prairie and fen on Main Campus.

“I was extremely happy to find out we received the grant award, especially because out of the schools to be awarded the grant funding, JJC was the only community college,” said Cheryl Heeneman, JJC biology professor and natural areas committee chair.

“Our overreaching goal for this project is to confirm the presence of endangered species, like the Hine's emerald dragonfly, on the JJC campus. If successful, this would encourage land protection and other resources which could be used to monitor and enhance our unique natural areas.”

JJC’s natural sciences department is working on the project with the help of students Max Battles and Wyatt Miller and recent alumna Ash Klinder. The research is expected to continue through September.

“This work aligns well with the mission of JJC,” Henneman said. "The project is providing learning opportunities to a small group of students. In sharing the project and objective with others we are building community and demonstrating a commitment to stewardship over our natural spaces.” 

Sustainable campus resources at JJC