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Darlene and Ken Fiske Memorial

Birds in the Classroom Grants

Dear Teacher,

Birds can be a dynamic and engaging

portal for teaching STEM subjects as well

as social studies, physical education, and



McHenry County Audubon offers up to $500.00 in grants to accredited McHenry County Schools and/or Classrooms (grades K – 12) for the purpose of furthering the understanding and appreciation of local bird species and their habitat needs – in our county and beyond.

Projects that may be considered include, but are not limited to:

  • Bird feeding stations

  • Bird-friendly plants for schoolyard habitat enhancement

  • Interpretive signage for schoolyard habitat

  • Binoculars

  • Bird books

  • Curricular materials

  • Audio-visual materials

  • Partnership building with schools in “our” birds’ wintering grounds

  • Transportation funding for bird-related field trips, etc…

  • Other ideas?


Applications may be found here.


The McHenry County Audubon Birds in the Classroom Grants are named in memory of MCA founder Darlene Fiske and her husband Ken who was an integral player in conservation efforts in McHenry County. The Fiskes' legacy has wings with McHenry County Audubon! Donations are always welcome to ensure grants will be available for years. Please consider a donation in their name to support this amazing program!

Darlene & Ken Fiske Birds in the Classroom

Grant Recipients are:


2015/16 -- $500 each 

  • SEDOM, Woodstock, IL --  Olcott Prairie Project

  • Olson Elementary, Woodstock, IL --  Birdwatching Stations

2016/17 -- $500 each

  • Spring Grove Elementary School -- Community Garden Project

  • Heineman Middle School, Algonquin, IL -- Ecology Club Garden

  • Verda Dierzen Early Learning Center, Woodstock, IL -- Green Space

  • Spring Grove received a second $500 grant in 2017 as well. 

2018/19 -- $500 each

Flying WILD June 29 2019.jpg

Leave No Child Inside - Plan a Field Trip!

McHenry County Conservation District offers programs about birds to grades 2 - 6

Check it out here.

Volo Bog State Natural Area offers programs about birds to grades 2 - 8. 

Call them at 815-344-1294 or email Volo Bog for more info and to register.

Volo Bog SNA also offers a teacher workshop called Flying WILD. Call the same number above for the next dates or inquire about having an in-service workshop at your school.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources has a multitude of bird lessons that meet the current education standards.  For best results, select your grade level in the first box and "birds" in the fourth box.  Leave the 2nd & 3rd box blank.

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