Illinois Buffer Partnership

Illinois Buffer Partnership

The Illinois Buffer Partnership promotes and provides cost-share funding to the voluntary conservation efforts of Illinois farmers and landowners with the goal of improving water, air, and soil quality. Buffer projects help to reduce erosion, sequester carbon, provide wildlife and pollinator habitat, and can also create additional income for landowners. This program is a collaborative partnership of Trees Forever, GROWMARK, state and federal government agencies, Trees Forever members and participating landowners.

In over 20 years of Illinois Buffer Partnership programming:

  • More than 250 projects funded
  • Over ONE MILLION trees planted in Illinois
  • Highlighted continued efforts to restore Illinois’ flood plains
  • Continued awareness building of buffers and other conservation practices


Eligible participants include farmers, rural landowners, rural communities,
and conservation groups.

Participants are selected to receive cost-share assistance, on-site assistance from Trees Forever field staff, project signs and the opportunity to host a field day to highlight their project.

Types of conservation projects eligible for the Illinois Buffer Partnership program include: riparian buffers, livestock buffers, streambank stabilization projects, wetland development, pollinator habitat, rain gardens and agroforestry projects.

Benefits for Participating Farmers and Landowners

Cost-share funds are available to select landowners to help support their project. Participants will be reimbursed, in an amount up to $2,000 for 50 percent of the expenses that remain after Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) or other federal, state or local funding has been applied to their project. Landowners can also benefit from a seed cost-share program offered through FS/GROWMARK.

Applications no longer being accepted for 2022