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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2000

Governor Ryan Awards $1.95 Million Open Land Trust Grant to Village of Orland Park

ORLAND PARK -- The Village of Orland Park will be able to purchase land that will save several endangered bird and plant species thanks to a $1.95 million grant awarded by Governor George H. Ryan.

The funding will be provided through the Open Land Trust program, allowing the village to acquire 28 parcels of property totaling 48 acres located at 159th Street and Will-Cook Road.

The funds will be used to restore existing wetlands, a native hickory/oak savanna and three ponds on the site, which is home to a number of endangered bird and plant species. Future development will include a nature center, trails, a scenic overlook, picnic area and visitor parking area.

The project is one of six in southern Cook, Will and Kankakee counties which received grants today totaling more than $3 million.

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

"This is a partnership between state, local governments and conservation and outdoor recreation agencies," Governor Ryan said. "I don't mind telling you that I'm awfully proud of this program because it is going to ensure that our grandkids and their grandkids will be able to experience the natural beauty of this state."

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 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 Ryan in southern Cook, Will and Kankakee counties include:

  • Village of Bourbonnais (DNR),
    $118,900, to develop a 1.2-mile bicycle path connecting the existing Kankakee Riverfront Trail to the eastern edge of Kankakee River State Park.

  • Village of Manteno (DNR),
    $31,500, to acquire a 0.5-mile corridor (1.72 acres) between Division Street and Heritage Park for the future development of a 1.9-mile bicycle trail.

  • Will County Forest Preserve District (DNR),
    $200,000, to develop a 2.9-mile bike trail within a portion of the Lake Renwick Nature Preserve.

  • Village of South Holland (IDOT),
    $440,000 to construct a 2-mile bike trail along State Street from Vincennes Road to 158th Street.

  • City of Kankakee (IDOT),
    $329,000 to improve the streetscape including lighting, sidewalks, and landscaping along Court Street from U.S. 57 to St. Joseph Street and along Schuyler Street from Oak Street to Merchant Street.



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