Illinois Department of Natural Resources  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2010  

IDNR Announces $17 million in Grants for Parks and Open Space

Forty-nine projects will enhance park development and reserve open space through OSLAD program

Chicago, IL – Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller announced today announced $16.9 million in grants for 49 park development and land acquisition projects throughout Illinois. Director Miller made the announcement at the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) annual conference in Chicago.

“These grants will help create a better quality of life in many communities throughout Illinois, while also creating jobs in this tough economy,” said Governor Quinn. “By investing in parks and playgrounds, we are also investing in the lives of children and families who need more opportunity to play outdoors.”

Forty-nine projects are being funded statewide through the 2010 Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program facilitated through Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). Of those, nine projects will result in the purchase of new land for future open space use and 40 will focus on outdoor recreation development.

Outdoor recreation projects include (some projects fit into multiple categories):

  • 15 development projects for facilities that promote environmental and wetland studies,
  • 9 projects that will provide initial recreation development of park sites for their respective communities,
  • 20 development projects that will provide new playground equipment,
  • 7 projects that will create water based recreation by constructing access to lakes, rivers or streams,
  • 10 projects that will include water play features known as “spraygrounds”, and
  • 6 projects that will provide in-line skating/roller hockey or skateboard areas.

“This money will help communities further the overall goal of leaving no child inside,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “These projects will offer a wide variety of activities for everyone to enjoy the outdoors.”

This $16.9 million combined with the grantees’ minimum 50 percent share will result in more than $33.8 million of local acquisition and development projects to enhance the quality of life in Illinois. The amount awarded each year for the OSLAD program is based on the condition of the housing market, because the grants are funded through a percentage of the real estate transfer tax.

The complete list of projects can be seen at http://dnr.state.il.us/pubaffairs/2010/January/FY10OSLAD-list.pdf

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