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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2000

Governor Ryan Awards $2 Million Open Land Trust Grant to Lake County Forest Preserve District

WAUCONDA -- New hiking trails, picnic areas and the restoration of habitat and wetlands are coming to Lake County after Governor George H. Ryan today announced a $2 million grant through the Open Land Trust program.

The grant to the Lake County Forest Preserve District will be used to acquire 270 acres of natural lands at the intersection of Gilmer and Erhart Roads in Wauconda.

The parcel will be part of a 403-acre tract of wetlands, woodlands and prairie that will be known as Ray Lake Farm.

The project is one of 10 receiving grants totaling more than $7.9 million in Lake and McHenry counties.

Governor Ryan is awarding grants throughout northeastern Illinois for 35 projects totaling $37.9 million as part of the Open Land Trust, state bicycle path grant and Illinois Transportation Enhancement programs.

"Open Land Trust is helping our communities preserve and restore our prairies and forests," said Governor Ryan. "These are lands local areas have not been able to protect because they simply didn't have the resources to do so.

"We also are providing funding through the ITEP program and the bike path grant program for projects that add to a community's overall quality of life," Governor Ryan added. "It is no secret that bike trails are very, very popular. They encourage us to get out and improve our health through exercise. Bike paths and trails provide families with safe places to have fun."

Governor Ryan's Open Land Trust initiative, the largest land acquisition program in state history, is providing $160 million over four years for land purchases and improvements to protect the state's most precious natural resources. Bicycle path and trails grants are funded through two related programs. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) administers the state's bicycle path grant program, which was begun when Gov. Ryan was Lt. Governor. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) administers the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, a federally funded program providing bike paths, pedestrian trails and other projects that offer transportation options other than traditional highway and mass transit facilities.

Other grants announced by Gov. Ryan in Lake and McHenry counties include:

  • McHenry County Conservation District (OLT),
    $1,467,500 to acquire two parcels of land totaling 180 acres of mixed hardwood and upland and wetland complex in the city of Woodstock. Ninety-four acres are at the headwaters of the Kishwaukee River, which contains the longest stretch of top quality stream in the state. Another 86 acres at McConnell Woods, comprised of oak savanna and a wetland fen complex, which serves as a water recharge source for the Dufield pond wetland also will be purchased. These acquisitions are part of a larger effort to preserve the greenway in the upper reaches of two separate watersheds that originate in Woodstock, the Kishwaukee and the Nippersink. (This project is funded with $1,299,245 from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund program, and a $168,255 OLT grant).

  • Lake County Department of Transportation (DNR),
    $200,000, to renovate a 2.8-mile section of the Skokie Valley Trail between West Park Avenue and Lake Cook Road.

  • Lake County Department of Transportation (DNR),
    $125,000, to construct a 0.6-mile bicycle path along Washington Street from Hainsville Road to just west of Lakeside Drive.

  • Lake County Forest Preserve District (DNR),
    $200,000, to construct a 4.02-mile trail from Ill. Rt. 120 at the Riverhill Forest Preserve to Washington Street in Gurnee.

  • Village of Lincolnshire (DNR),
    $192,500, to construct a 0.3-mile path along the east side of Riverwoods Road from Farrington Drive to the village's new North Park.

  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDOT),
    $1,873,000 to construct a 2.9-mile bikeway including a pedestrian underpass on Commonwealth Edison right-of-way from Moraine Hills State Park in McHenry County to Dowell Road in Lake County.

  • Village of Grayslake (IDOT),
    $412,000 to construct a 1-mile bikeway along U.S. 45 from Center Street to Illinois 120 and along Center Street from Buckingham Drive to U.S. 45.

  • Lake County Division of Transportation (IDOT), $960,000 to construct the North Shore Bike Path pedestrian overpass on Butterfield Road at the Chicago, North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad south of Illinois 176 in Libertyville.

  • Lake County Division of Transportation (IDOT), $521,000 to revitalize the village of Long Grove's downtown streetscape along Old McHenry Road at Robert Parker Coffin Road.



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