Gov. JB Pritzker announces $29.7 million in grants for Illinois park projects

Illinois Department of Natural Resources
Several Illinois park districts got financial support today when Gov. JB Pritzker announced $29.7 million in grants to help fund 85 local park projects, including three in the area. 

The grants are funded through the state’s Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program and administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

Awarded $400,000 each are these three local projects:

•    Oakdale Nature Preserve improvements – Freeport Park District, Stephenson County
•    Donald B. Johnson Riverfront Park development – Byron Park District, Ogle County
•    Meridian Park Swimming Pool improvements – Black Hawk Park District, Jo Daviess County

“Investments in local park projects are good for families and recreation enthusiasts, helping them enjoy outdoor activities and making Illinois communities better places to live and work,” said Pritzker in a news release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “Parks projects also boost local economic development efforts and spur additional investment throughout the state.”

Fehr Graham helped the Freeport, Byron and Black Hawk park districts apply for the grants.

The OSLAD program can provide up to one-half of a project’s funds, according to the news release. When combined with local matching funds, the grants announced will support more than $56 million in local park developments and land acquisitions statewide. 

The OSLAD program has dispersed $403.2 million in 1,729 local park projects since 1987.