Fehr Graham secures $600k in grant funding for Fox Valley Park District

Fehr Graham, a leading engineering and environmental firm, helped secure $600,000 in grant funding for the Fox Valley Park District. The funding is part of nearly $55 million allocated in state grants awarded to 111 park projects in Illinois to help communities acquire land and develop recreational opportunities.

For the second consecutive year, Gov. JB Pritzker set aside funding for economically distressed communities. This year, 32 underserved locations will benefit from $18.7 million in grants from the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program. This is the 37th year of the program, which is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Fox Valley Park District will use the funds to enhance Blackberry Crossing Park. The park is about 17 acres but offers limited recreational opportunities. Fehr Graham created a comprehensive Master Plan for the park site, with proposed Phase I improvements that include a playground designed for Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility, pickleball courts, multipurpose athletic fields, a concrete game plaza, two shade sail shelters, an asphalt path, a 30-space asphalt parking lot, bike racks and a pollinator habitat. The design of Phase I ensures residents and visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy the park.

Since day one as Governor, it’s been my mission to support the health and well-being of Illinoisans. With funding from the OLSAD program, municipalities across Illinois will have the opportunity to expand and improve local neighborhood parks through sport and recreational space, plants, playgrounds and more. Across Illinois, we’re enhancing our state’s natural beauty and creating safer, healthier and happier communities."

JB Pritzker, Governor

Fehr Graham is instrumental in finding financial support for its clients to help improve and enhance community parks, trails and paths. In March 2023, Fehr Graham helped Fox Valley Park District and the Village of Davis Junction secure $600,000 each in OSLAD funding for park improvements.

The OSLAD program, established by the Illinois General Assembly in 1986, operates as a cost-sharing initiative between state and local governments, facilitating land acquisition and development for parks and outdoor recreation projects. It has grown into one of Illinois' most popular grants, having awarded nearly $585 million for park projects throughout Illinois since its inception.

"OSLAD is one of the state's most significant grant programs. …It has raised the quality of life in communities throughout Illinois," said Peter Murphy, President and CEO of the Illinois Association of Park Districts. "We commend Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly for their strong support and continued investment in local park and recreation projects that create opportunities for Illinois youth."

See all grant recipients, and read the full news release here