SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will accept applications beginning Jan. 24 for the state's Park and Recreational Facility Construction (PARC) Grant Program. The program will provide grants to eligible local governments for acquisition, development, construction, rehabilitation or other capital improvements to park and recreation facilities in Illinois.
For the current Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, a total of $25 million in grants are available through funding provided by the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program, an initiative of Governor Pat Quinn. The maximum grant award for qualifying projects for FY14 is $2.5 million.
The IDNR will accept applications from qualifying units of local government from Jan.24 through March 10, 2014.
"Public parks and open space shouldn’t be a luxury. Everyone has the right to enjoy recreation opportunities safely and locally. The investments made through PARC funds are vital to the economies and health of local communities and their residents,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. "I want to thank Governor Quinn for making this long-term investment in local parks and recreation that will pay long-term dividends for Illinois communities."
The PARC Grant Program can fund bondable, bricks and mortar projects that include demolition, site preparation and improvements for indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, reconstruction, improvements and expansion to existing facilities, and new construction. Projects involving land acquisition for construction of new or expansion of existing indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, and for open space and conservation purposes, are also eligible.
Illinois previously invested $50 million in PARC grants for park districts and other local government projects in 2011, the first year of the program.
The PARC program will reimburse grant recipients up to 75 percent of approved project costs (up to 90 percent reimbursement will be available to local governments defined as disadvantaged).
The PARC grant program does not replace the annual Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant program (OSLAD). PARC projects must be "bondable" according to state guidelines, while OSLAD projects do not. Eligible OSLAD projects include limited infrastructure costs by rule, and the PARC program is specifically designed to include support facilities and encourages infrastructure work.
For more information, details on program eligibility, and other program regulations, log on to http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/grants or contact the IDNR Division of Grant Administration, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702-1271, phone 217/782-7481, or by e-mail grants@Illinois.gov.