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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2000

Ryan Honored During State Fair Park District Conservation Day

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan was awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award from the Illinois Association of Park Districts today during ceremonies at Park District Conservation Day at the Illinois State Fair.

"I am honored to receive this award," Ryan said. "I am strongly committed to open space, parks and recreation. By investing in natural resources and parks today, we will ensure long-term benefits for our children, grandchildren and future generations."

The Governor was presented the award by Ted Flickinger, Executive Director of the Illinois Association of Park Districts, and Judith Locke, IAPD Board President. "We are proud to present this Outstanding Leadership Award to Governor Ryan in appreciation of his leadership in establishing the Open Land Trust and his long-standing support of park districts, forest preserves and conservation and recreation agencies," Flickinger said.

Ryan's Illinois Open Land Trust program provides $160 million over four years for land acquisition and improvements. The program provides state funding for land acquisition as well as a combination of grants and loans to local governments for open space protection. All land acquired through this program is from willing sellers only.

To better meet the funding needs of local communities, $21 million in matching grant funds, an increase of $3.2 million, will be available for the OSLAD program. In addition, this year the maximum per grant award for acquisitions increased from $400,000 to $750,000, and for developments from $200,000 to $400,000.

The Governor also declared Aug. 19 Springfield Park District Day in Illinois, in honor of the district's 100th anniversary this year, presenting a proclamation to Springfield Park District Board President Leslie Sgro.

"The Springfield Park District is a leading example of how citizens can join together, and through their collective efforts, create one of the most outstanding park districts in the state," Ryan said.

Park District Conservation Day, in its seventh year at the Illinois State Fair, is a cooperative effort of the State Fair, the Illinois Association of Park Districts, the Illinois Park and Recreation Association and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Hundreds of park and recreation performers and volunteers from 50 Illinois communities participate in events on the State Fairgrounds.



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