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September 2, 1999

Ryan Officially Opens Rend Lake Sport Shooting Complex

REND LAKE -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the grand opening of the newly renovated Rend Lake Shooting Complex a project made possible by the new "Open Space Land Trust," an initiative designed to help communities acquire and protect open space for future generations.

"Just from walking through a part of the park, I can easily see why this impressive complex has earned the respect of the sport shooting world. The state-of-the-art, 3-D archery range and the day-or-night clay shooting facilities look great," Ryan said.

This new complex received a $200,000 grant from Acquisition and Development program. After four years, this program will have contributed $160 million to help communities across the state buy and preserve open lands for recreation. The first year funding for the program is included in the Fiscal Year 2000 budget.

"As a result of the grant, we were able to renovate the facility to accommodate such prestigious events such as the Illinois Sporting Clays Championships and the Rend Lake Shooting Classic for the Physically Challenged," said Kevin Davis, Director of the Rend Lake Conservancy District.

The state's Open Space Land Trust fund provides for land acquisition as well as a combination of grants and loans to local governments for open space protection. Local governments in rural areas where the state purchases land would be provided with community planning grants for capital projects. The program provides for partnerships with non-governmental organizations provided that lands acquired with state funds will remain under governmental ownership.

Under the program, state and local governments would acquire land for conservation and recreation purposes. "This legislation will significantly increase Illinois' ability to set aside land for open space to benefit our grandchildren and the generations that follow," Ryan said.


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