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URBANA – Gerber School in Urbana has received an Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Grant to fund a pollinator garden, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced.

“This project is a great opportunity that will provide students an authentic experience learning about nature,” Bennett said. “I’m extremely pleased to see Gerber School receive these funds to extend hands-on education beyond the classroom.”

The Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois Conservation Fund (ICF) to support the development or enhancement of wildlife habitat on the school grounds or other public places. Projects funded by these grants are meant to teach children that their actions can make a difference in the world while increasing the use of native plants in Illinois.

Funding for the program is provided through donations to the ICF. More than $329,000 in Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant funding has been distributed since the program’s inception.

Applications for the next round of Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Grants will be open soon, with an application deadline of Nov. 30, 2021. More information on applying for the next round of grants can be found on the IDNR website.

8551 DSC 0753CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign Downtown Commercial District is one of 12 Illinois sites added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2020, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) announced Wednesday.

“This designation is a tremendous recognition of the historic structures that continue to serve as part of the Downtown Commercial District in Champaign,” Bennett said. “I’m thrilled to see our community being recognized with this distinct honor for its history and architecture.”

The city’s history begins with the arrival of the Illinois Central Railroad in 1854. Originally there were agriculture dealers and grain elevators, greenhouses, and lumberyards – an assortment of businesses catering to the developing agriculture and construction of the area. As the population rapidly increased, entertainment venues, boarding options and retail spaces emerged.

Active building occurred in the area for over a century, with brick buildings eventually replacing the early wood-frame structures. In addition to this being the earliest business district in Illinois, it has also continually served as the home of Champaign’s city government. Together these buildings relay the story of the changing architectural styles for commercial and public buildings from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century.

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of properties that merit special attention and preservation. Every county in Illinois has at least one property or historic district listed in the National Register, and together they represent a cross section of the state’s history from its early settlement to the mid-20th century.

For more information on the National Register of Historic Places in Illinois, click here.

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CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D- Champaign) is encouraging K-12 students to create and submit artwork for the annual art contest sponsored by Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois State Board of Education. This year’s theme is “Art Surrounds Us.”

“Students of all ages are able to showcase their artistic ability by submitting something to this contest,” Bennett said. “The theme ‘Art Surrounds Us’ provides a great opportunity to get creative and highlight the importance of the arts in our everyday lives, especially during these challenging times we’re living in.”

The contest includes four entry levels: grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. A panel of judges selects a winner and three runners-up in each entry level.

All winners and runners-up will have their work displayed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. One student’s work will be chosen by the judges as “Best in Show” and will be featured on a poster to celebrate the arts during Illinois Arts Education Week, which takes place March 15-19 this year.

Past themes include “Leadership is an Art” and “Art Connects History.”

Student submissions must be postmarked by Feb. 12, 2021 to be considered. More information on the competition and how to submit artwork can be found on the ALPLM website.

01132021HAO4324SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) was sworn into office today for another term in the Illinois Senate.

“With the beginning of the 102nd General Assembly, I am hopeful that we can come together as a body to help our communities move forward from COVID-19,” Bennett said. “I will continue addressing the challenges facing the people of central and east-central Illinois, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve the 52nd District for another term.”

Bennett has represented the 52nd District since his appointment in 2015 to fill the vacancy left by Michael Frerichs, who resigned after he was elected state treasurer. The district includes parts of Champaign and Vermilion Counties and includes communities such as Champaign-Urbana, Rantoul and Danville.

Bennett has championed many legislative issues, such as strengthening coal ash pollution protections and successfully launching the Farm Family Resource Initiative, and has been a longtime advocate to colleges and universities. He plans to continue to fight for robust investment in higher education and to make agriculture and economic development a priority.

Bennett strives to keep everyone updated with the most helpful and accurate information, and encourages people to reach out via his website with questions and concerns or to contact one of his district offices:

  • Champaign: 217-355-5252
  • Danville: 217-422-5252

This week marks the start of the 102nd General Assembly.


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Office Info

Champaign Office:
45 E. University Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820
P: (217) 355-5252

Danville Office:
201 N. Vermilion St. Suite 323
Danville, IL 61832
P: (217) 442-5252

Springfield Office:
311C State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-2507