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May 25, 2011 
Chris McCloud 
Januari Smith 
IDNR Announces nearly $12 million for Parks and Open Space 
Thirty-six OSLAD projects will boost local economies, enhance park development 
SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced $11.7 million for park development and land acquisition projects throughout the state. The Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Grant program (OSLAD) supports local economies by enabling communities to improve outdoor recreation areas and increase open space through dollars from the Real Estate Transfer Tax.

“The IDNR is committed to strengthening communities through the OSLAD program now and in the future. Parks and open space provide an essential quality of life element to residents and visitors of communities throughout Illinois and encourage economic development right here at home,” IDNR Director Marc Miller said.

In 2011, the IDNR-administered OSLAD program is funding 35 projects statewide. One additional project is receiving federal funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides matching grants to states and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities.

The majority of the projects – 33 – will involve developing and constructing new parks and other associated facilities. The three remaining projects involve the purchase of new land for future open space use.

“OSLAD grants are vital to communities in many ways and meet a core IDNR priority of leaving no child inside,” added Director Miller.

Projects made possible by the OSLAD program have far-reaching positive impacts on communities statewide.

These projects demonstrate an investment on the part of local units of government to enhance the quality of life for residents, which attracts business growth and job creation locally. 

The $11.7 million awarded this year combined with the grantees’ minimum 50 percent share will result in more than $23.4 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 fluctuating condition of the housing market.  After continual analysis of revenues, the IDNR is confident in releasing this year’s funds.  Prior to this year’s grants, OSLAD has provided nearly $341.3 million to local communities for 1,523 outdoor recreation and land acquisition projects statewide. 


(D) ANTIOCH, VILLAGE OF (Lake County) $283,200.00, to develop a 41.9 acre site located in the eastern portion of the village, in the NeuHaven community. Recreational amenities
include a combo soccer/football field, a combo baseball/softball field, park pavilion, picnic tables, grills, basketball court, 2 tennis courts, interpretive trail signage, 3 baggo courts, fishing pier, wetland observation deck, extensions of trail loops throughout the park and parking lot expansion. (Contact: Jim Keim, 847-395-1000)

(D) BENSENVILLE PARK DISTRICT (DuPage County) $247,700.00, to develop a splash pad in Varble Park.  Two family picnic shelters will be constructed as well as 2 permanent bean bag games courts. (Contact: Bob  Jarecki, 630-766-7015)

(D) BOURBONNAIS TOWNSHIP PARK DISTRICT (Kankakee County) $226,200.00, to further develop 60.5 acre Diamond Point Park on Career Center Road.  Facilities include a shelter, half-court basketball, playground, splash pad, pathway with interpretive node and 2 bean bag toss courts.  (Contact: Hollice Clark III, 815-933-9905)

(D) BROOKFIELD, VILLAGE OF (Cook County) $400,000.00, to redevelop Jaycee Ehlert Park on Shields Avenue.  Phase I includes a spray pad, picnic shelter, volleyball, 2 bean bag courts, trail with fitness stations, water quality basin with native plantings and interpretive sign and a new concession building with shelter. (Contact:  Keith Sbiral, 798-485-7344)

(D) CALUMET MEMORIAL PARK DISTRICT (Cook County) $225,000.00, to renovate Commissioners Park in Calumet City on Wilson Avenue.  Proposed improvements include a softball field with dugouts and bleachers, swings and 2-5 and 5-12 year old play structures, a shelter with picnic tables, two bean bag courts, a multi-use trail and fitness station, soccer field, landscaping and a connection to the regional Burnham Greenway Trail. (Contact: Eric Schneider, 708-868-2530)

(A) CHAMPAIGN COUNTY FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT $119,000.00, to acquire a 41.1 acre in-holding at the Middle Fork River Forest Preserve northeast of Rantoul.  The land contains a portion of the Point Pleasant Wetland, a peat-filled bog that is an extremely unique natural resource feature for east central Illinois. The purchase of this land offers the opportunity for permanent wetland preservation as well as the biological improvement of both the wetland and the Middle Fork River. (Contact: Gerald Pagac, 217-586-3360)

(D) CHAMPAIGN PARK DISTRICT (Champaign County) $400,000.00, to develop Phase II of Porter Park in southwest Champaign.  The project includes ½ mile of trail with interpretive signage, a “naturescape” playground, fishing pier, a shelter overlooking the pond and site furnishings.  (Ms. Bobbie Herakovich, 217-398-2550)

(D) DECATUR PARK DISTRICT (Macon County) $340,000.00, to renovate Hess Park on Garfield Avenue.  Improvements include a repaved trail loop and parking lot and a refurbished concession stand.  New facilities include 2 basketball courts, a spray pad, a restroom building and playground. (Contact: William Clevenger, 217-422-5911)

(D) DEKALB PARK DISTRICT (DeKalb County) $167,100.00, to renovate and enhance 8.2 acre Annie’s Woods Park along the Kishwaukee River in DeKalb. The project includes a new playground, shelter, a multi-purpose path throughout the park, half-court basketball court, disc golf, two bean bag game courts, seating and picnic opportunities, interpretive signage and enhanced landscaping.   (Contact: Cynthia Capek, 815-758-6663)

(D) DOWNERS GROVE PARK DISTRICT (DuPage County) $400,000.00, to renovate 50-acre McCollum Park on Main Street. Proposed improvements include ballfield renovation with “green” tech lighting and water conserving irrigation, a new restroom-concession building,  tennis court renovation, a new picnic pavilion, renovation and expansion of the existing looped trail system, interpretive signs and additional parking.  (Contact: Dan Cermak, 630-963-1304)

(D) ELGIN, CITY OF (Kane County) $400,000.00, to develop Phase I of Elgin Regional Park on Plank Road in western Elgin.  Facilities include an entryway and parking lot, a tennis court, a basketball court, 2 soccer fields, playground, shelter and pathway. (Contact: Randy  Reopelle, 847-931-6127)

(D) ELK GROVE PARK DISTRICT (Cook County) $343,700.00, to redevelop 7.8 acre Fountain Square Park on Gibson Drive.  The project includes a picnic shelter, a multigenerational family area with bocce & bean bag courts, seating areas and game tables, sand play area with seating, splash playground with 11 spray features, nature station with interpretive signage, a fitness trail with 3 fitness stations and a sensory garden. (Contact: Mike Brottman, 847-437-9494)

(D) FLAGG-ROCHELLE COMMUNITY PARK DISTRICT (Ogle County) $400,000.00, to redevelop Memorial Park on 1st Avenue. Proposed improvements include a loop walking path, a basketball court/ice skating rink, horseshoe and beanbag pits, a playground, 2 shelters, a multi-purpose field, band shell restoration and a restroom facility. (Contact: Stephen Liezert, 815-562-7813)

(D) FOX VALLEY PARK DISTRICT (Kane County) $400,000.00, to develop 35 acre Lippold  Park in North Aurora.  The park is located along the east bank of the Fox River and development includes a riverside boardwalk, prairie/savanna/wetland restoration, interpretive trails with signs, an outdoor classroom/treehouse shelter, adventure/educational play structure, and an interpretive prairie garden.  (Contact: Nancy McCaul, 630-897-0516)

(D) GLEN CARBON, VILLAGE OF (Madison County) $400,000.00, to develop Phase I of Ray M. Schon Memorial Park on Glen Carbon Road.  Initial development includes the construction of a 3.1 acre lake, 2 accessible fishing docks, 1/2 mile walking trail, 4 shelter/shade ports, 2 horseshoe pits, seeding and landscaping. The improvements connect to an existing passive park which includes a trail that connects to the Nickle Plate Bicycle Trail. (Contact: Robert L. Jackstadt, 618-288-2609)

(A) GLENVIEW PARK DISTRICT (Cook County) $750,000.00, to acquire 4.5 acres adjacent to the Grove National Historic Landmark. The property is virtually unchanged and retains its ecological, cultural and historical value, having been part of the original Grove property. Future development includes a boardwalk/trail which will connect to an existing trail system. (Contact: Chuck Balling, 847-657-3215)

(D) HEYWORTH, VILLAGE OF (McLean County) $149,000.00, to enhance Volunteer Park in downtown Heyworth.  The main features of this project include a splash park, 2 separate playgrounds for children aged 5 to 12 and for children under the age of 5, restroom building and landscaping. (Contact: Larry Mowery, 309-473-2811)

(D) HINSDALE, VILLAGE OF (Cook County) $150,000.00, to renovate 52 acre Katherine Legge Memorial Park on County Line Road. Development includes a playground, new shelter, a lacrosse field, a 9 hole disc golf course and landscaping.  An existing shelter will also be renovated. (Contact: Gina  Hassett, 630-789-7090)

(D) HODGKINS PARK DISTRICT (Cook County) $400,000.00, to develop 9.5 acre Hodgkins Park on Lyons Street.  Amenities include a splash pad, play equipment, shelter, full court basketball, walking trail, fitness stations and landscaping. (Contact: Ron Kubicki, 708-354-6563)

(D) HOFFMAN ESTATES PARK DISTICT (Cook County) $112,500.00, to develop Tropicana Park on Audubon Street in eastern Hoffman Estates.  The park will include a splash pad, volleyball court, playground, horseshoe pits and bocce ball courts, benches, picnic tables and a drinking fountain.  (Contact:  Dean Bostrom, 847-885-7500)

(D) HOMER GLEN, VILLAGE OF (Will County) $110,900.00, to develop Erin Hills Park north of 143rd Street.  The park will feature a playground, a putting green, and a picnic grove.
Capitalizing on the park's location near Long Run Creek, educational opportunities will be provided with the development of an interpretive boardwalk.  (Contact: Jim Daley, 708-301-0632)

(D) KANE COUNTY FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT, $400,000.00, to develop a major camping facility in the newly acquired section of Big Rock Preserve southwest of Sugar Grove.  Project components include an entry road and parking, picnic shelter, camp restroom, trails, well, and 105 improved camp sites and 20 primitive camp sites. (Contact: Monica Meyers, 630-232-5980)

(D) LASALLE , CITY OF (LaSalle County) $400,000.00, to develop 52 acre LaSalle Rotary Park near the junction of Route 57 and Illinois Route 6.  Phase I will provide a nature based  playground, soccer field,  a fishing station with shoreline stabilization, multi-purpose trails, interpretative educational signs, ice skating, turf seeding, and parking facilities. 
(Contact: Jeff  Grove, 815-223-3755)

(D) MCHENRY COUNTY CONSERVATION DISTRICT, $400,000.00,  to improve the 604-acre Boone Creek Conservation Area west of McHenry.  The project includes access and parking, a 7-acre fishing pond with fishing pier, hiking trail, improved horse trail, a picnic shelter, restroom and an observation platform with spotting scope. (Contact: Elizabeth Kessler, 815-338-6223)

(D) MIDLOTHIAN PARK DISTRICT (Cook County) $400,000.00, to enhance 29 acre Memorial Park on 145th Street.  Development includes a hub of 5 softball/baseball fields, lighting for the fields, a walking path, fitness stations, adult game area with bocce and bean bag toss and native landscaping. (Contact: Evelyn  Gleason, 708-371-6091)

(D) MOKENA PARK DISTRICT (Will County) $400,000.00, for the initial development of Fox Ridge Park located in Foxborough Estates and Boulder Ridge subdivisions in far western Mokena.  Amenities include  tennis and multi-use courts, multi-use grid field, a picnic shelter; game tables & yard game area with bocce ball & baggo courts, a ballfield, looped exercise path,  playground, landscaping and parking lots with associated bio-swales to filter stormwater run-off.  (Contact: Connie Eskoff, 708-390-2401)

(D) NAPERVILLE PARK DISTRICT (DuPage County) $400,000.00, to redevelop 18 acre Meadow Glens Park on Muirhead Avenue.  Renovation includes 2 ball fields, 2 soccer fields, 2 basketball courts, and a parking lot. New features to be added include a .6-mile multi-use loop trail, 5 fitness stations, a picnic shelter, a restroom, a nature playground with an interactive water feature, a rain garden, winter skating area, a baseball backstop, interpretive signs, a  bean bag toss court, benches, landscaping, native prairie plantings, and a nature trail through the small wooded area. (Contact: Ray McGury, 630-848-3500)

(D) NEW LENOX COMMUNITY PARK DISTRICT (Will County) $372,000.00, to enhance Countryview/Royal Meadows Park, a 16.5 acre existing park site.  Development includes a playground area, skate park, picnic shelters, tennis courts, parking, boardwalk, and an open play area. (Contact: Greg Lewis, 815-485-3584)

(D) OAK LAWN PARK DISTRICT (Cook County) $400,000.00, to redevelop Memorial Park on 103rd Street.  The project will create a new community play area with sand / water play, and a large Rocket Ship structure reminscent of years ago. Playing courts will be re-designed and a new  washroom facility will be installed. An existing water playground will be converted to zero-depth, and a new spray pad will be added with sunning areas. Additional development includes a trail system, 2 picnic shelters, fishing pier and landscaping. (Contact: Maddie Kelly, 708-857-2225)

(D) OAK PARK, PARK DISTRICT OF (Cook County) $400,000.00, to enhance Mills Park which surrounds the Pleasant Home mansion museum (a National Historic Landmark). Development will include new park entrances to improve access, a looped interior path system with  interpretive tree arbor and native grass & wildflower display areas, a nature discovery-sensory play area & labyrinth and public sitting areas.  (Contact: Gary Balling, 708-725-2020)

(D) OSWEGOLAND PARK DISTRICT (Kendall County) $154,200.00, for the intial development of Townsend Park on Devoe Drive. Facilities include elementary age and tot accessible playstructures, swings, sandbox, shelter, 2 half court basketball, skateboard elements, soccer goals, small ballfield backstop, drinking fountain, accessible walkways and  landscaping.  (Contact: William McAdam, 630-554-1010)

(D) ROLLING MEADOWS PARK DISTRICT (Cook County) $341,000.00, to renovate Nelson Sports Complex on Owl Drive.  The bathhouse will be renovated to meet ADA requirements and interactive water playground equipment will be installed.  A disc golf course will also be developed.  (Contact: Amy Charlesworth, 847-818-3220)

(D) ROSCOE TOWNSHIP (Winnebago County) $400,000.00, for the initial development of athletic fields on 40 acres of land owned by the Township off Rollingsford Lane.  Phase I includes a  baseball field, softball field, 2 football fields, 2 soccer fields, 2 volleyball courts, a walking path, parking lot, and perimeter landscaping. (Contact: Renee McNitt, 815-623-7323)

(A) SWANSEA, VILLAGE OF (St. Clair County) $49,500.00, to acquire a 5.27 acre parcel adjacent to Melvin Price Memorial Park.  Future development includes both interpretive trail and trail with fitness stations. (Contact: John Openlander, 618-234-0044)

(D) TOLONO PARK DISTRICT (Champaign County) $393,100.00, for the initial development of 6.65 acre East Side Park on Walnut Street. Amenities include 2 baseball/softball fields, a soccer field, basketball court, playground, concession/restroom/picnic shelter, walking path and parking. (Contact: Randy Grace, 217-202-1081)

(D) WILL COUNTY, FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT OF, $400,000.00, to develop the Wauponsee Glacial Trail-Ballou Road Preserve near Wilmington.  The 303 acre preserve will be developed with vehicular and equestrian trailer parking, a shelter, dog park, picnic area, latrine, drinking fountains, interpretive signage, camping, and a loop trail connecting to the adjacent 23.6 mile Wauponsee Glacial Trail system. (Contact: Andrew Hawkins, 815-727-8700)

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