OAK PARK - Governor Pat Quinn today announced a $15.3 million investment in local park projects across Illinois, including $6.4 million for projects in Cook and DuPage Counties. As part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to ensure that no child is left inside, the projects are funded through the state’s Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program (OSLAD). The initiative is designed to expand outdoor recreation and open space in communities across Illinois.
“Whether you are in a big city or small town, local parks let families across Illinois enjoy nature and spend time together,” Governor Quinn said. “These projects improve parks throughout the state and expand green space in dozens of communities, creating jobs and making our state a better place to live and work.”
Project highlights include $1,400,000 to the Chicago Park District for the initial development of Park 553 on South Sacramento Avenue in the South Lawndale community. The park will include several sport fields, walking paths, playgrounds and many other park amenities. Additionally, $1,003,000 will be awarded to the Forest Preserve District of Cook County to acquire a 28.15-acre parcel north of Powderhorn Lake in the Calumet Region, which will be restored.
Across the state, today’s OSLAD announcement includes 45 projects, including picnic shelters, playgrounds, ball fields and trails, as well as wetland enhancements, prairie restoration and bioswales within local parks. The funding will allow some communities to purchase land to be used for future green space.
“Local park districts and forest preserve districts, and outdoor recreation agencies are our partners in offering families and children places to help make sure we achieve our goal of leaving no child inside in Illinois,” IDNR Director Marc Miller said. “The investment of these funds for park projects has the added benefit of supporting and creating jobs in cities and towns across the state.”
The OSLAD program’s funding recipients are responsible for contributing at least half of the total project cost. The $15.3 million awarded statewide this year, combined with the grantees’ matching funds, will result in more than $30.6 million of local park development projects and land acquisition in Illinois. The program began in 1986, and, not including today’s announced projects, has provided approximately $362.5 million for 1,596 local park projects in Illinois.
A list of this year’s OSLAD grant recipients in Cook and DuPage Counties and project descriptions is below. For a full list of projects awarded throughout the state visit dnr.illinois.gov.
FY 13 OSLAD PROJECTS
(D) Development Projects
(A) Acquisition Projects
(D) The Park District of Oak Park in Cook County will receive $400,000 to construct an environmental learning center at Austin Gardens Park on Ontario Street. The building will feature a covered outdoor patio for children's nature day camps, group picnics and concession operations. The project also includes the development of a discovery garden with birding scopes, native habitat and path system improvements, interpretive signs and a gathering area with game tables.
(D) The Alsip Park District in Cook County will receive $368,500 to renovate the Aquatic Park on South Kostner Ave. Improvements include new mechanical systems, new tube and drop slides, handicapped accessibility improvements and a new spray ground water park.
(A) The Bensenville Park District in DuPage County will receive $506,100 to acquire 4.06 acres on Hillside Drive. Future development includes soccer and softball fields, a fitness trail, shelter, a basketball court, a playground, restrooms and parking.
(D) The Broadview Park District in Cook County will receive $175,000 for Phase I improvements at Schroeder Park on 16th Street. The existing baseball field and spectator areas will be renovated, and new field lighting will be added. Other new facilities include a batting cage, a trail system with fitness stations and a rain garden with educational signage.
(D) The Brookfield Recreation Department in Cook County will receive $260,300 to add new facilities at Kiwanis Park on Brookfield Avenue. Phase I improvements include a bandshell and stage, a basketball court, two volleyball courts, baggo and horseshoe courts, trail with fitness stations, disc golf, permeable pavement and a bioswale for parking lot stormwater treatment.
(D) The Buffalo Grove Park District in Cook County will receive $400,000 to redevelop Willow Stream Community Park on Old Checker Road. Project components include trail system enhancements, a woodland interpretive walk, a nature based playground, picnic shelter, warming house, disc golf an inter-generational play area and sand volleyball.
(D) The Calumet Memorial Park District in Cook County will receive $350,000 to renovate Downey Park on West Jeffery Avenue. Improvements include a softball field with dugouts and bleachers, a shelter, a tennis court, two half-court basketball courts, a splash pad, batting cages, an amphitheater, additional parking and a multiuse trail with fitness stations. Improvements to the spectator area of the existing baseball fields are also included.
(D) The Chicago Park District of Cook County will receive $1,400,000 for the initial development of Park 553 on South Sacramento Avenue in the South Lawndale community. Project components include two artificial turf soccer fields, two natural turf baseball/softball fields, two natural turf all-purpose athletic fields, lighted walking paths, a playground with a spray feature, a skate park, a basketball court, a parking area, a natural area, athletic field lighting, park amenities such as park benches, drinking fountains, garbage cans, landscaping and utilities such as electric, water and sewer.
(A) The Forest Preserve District of Cook County will receive $1,003,000 to acquire a 28.15-acre parcel north of Powderhorn Lake in the Calumet Region. The site consists of wetland and upland forest which will be restored. Future development includes a walking path and parking area.
(D) The Park District of Franklin Park in Cook County will receive $296,000 to renovate Chestnut Park on West Chestnut Avenue. Project components include a shelter, fitness stations, paths, open lawn/soccer area, benches, baggo boards, an accessible playground with interactive and nature based play elements, a putting green, water fountain and safety berming.
(D) The Itasca Park District in DuPage County will receive $396,200 to redevelop Peacock Park on Bryn Mawr Avenue. Improvements include a loop trail, baseball field, soccer field, picnic shelter, two half-court basketball courts, a volleyball court, baggo and bocce courts, a drinking fountain and landscape enhancements.
(A) The Community Park District of La Grange Park will receive $150,200 to acquire a .138 acre lot to expand Beach-Oak Park on Beach Avenue. The expanded property will allow for a new multipurpose court, facilitating half-court basketball and small skateboarding structures.
(D)The Village of Lyons in Cook County will receive $400,000 to renovate Smith Park on West Lawndale Avenue. New amenities include a multi-purpose loop trail, picnic shelter, splash pad, a restroom building, fitness stations, a playground, two tennis courts and a community garden area.
(A) The Village of Norridge in Cook County will receive $218,500 to acquire a .34-acre parcel at Montrose and Canfield Avenue. Future development will include a shelter, tot lot, bike racks and a water fountain.
(D) The Village of Stickney in Cook County will receive $123,700 to renovate Stickney Children’s Park on Oak Park Avenue. The project includes a new playground for tots up to 12 years, a small splash pad, a drinking fountain, picnic shelter, baggo game and a bioswale to handle storm water.
(D) The West Chicago Park District in DuPage County will receive $118,800 to develop the Dyer Nature Area within Reed-Keppler Park on West National Street. The project includes a nature trail, boardwalk, interpretive signs, site furniture and landscaping.
(A) The Westmont Park District in DuPage County will receive $281,500 to acquire a 4.78-acre parcel on Wilmette Avenue in the southeast section of Westmont. Future development includes a loop trail, playground, shelter, a fishing pier, an open play area for soccer and football and parking.
(D) The Wheeling Park District in Cook County will receive $266,900 to renovate Pleasant Run Park on Equestrian Drive. The plan consists of new playground equipment with synthetic playground safety surfacing, a shelter, athletic field and open space, a renovated basketball court, an asphalt pathway to loop the perimeter of the park along with seat walls around the playground area and new landscaping. Also included in the design are additional benches, trash/recycling receptacles and bicycle racks.