Gov. Blagojevich Announces Nearly $2 Million in Park Development Grants

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Dollars to help fund five new park projects in southern Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $1.9 million in grants for dozens of projects at existing parks and development of new parks throughout southern Illinois.  The funds will be used for five projects in southern Illinois including land acquisition, construction of new trails and playgrounds, and the creation of new recreational opportunities including athletic fields.

“These grants will provide open space and recreation opportunities in communities throughout the state,” Gov. Blagojevich said.  “The great thing about this program is how state and local governments work together.  People in local communities envision the projects and we work together with them to make them a reality.”

“Whether it’s building playgrounds, pools, or park shelters, the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grants give so many kids in so many communities the opportunity to enjoy expanded recreational opportunities,”  said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Acting Director Sam Flood said.  “Expanding recreational opportunities for children and families is why these grants are so important to the fiber of each community.”

“Local park projects like the new facilities at Drost Park in Maryville provide a real boost to the community, and will be enjoyed by children, families, and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages for years to come,” said Rep. Jay C. Hoffman (D-Collinsville).

Money awarded each year for the OSLAD program is based on the conditions of the housing market and grants are solely funded through a percentage of the real estate transfer tax.

The $25.1 million awarded throughout the state this year combined with the grantees’ minimum 50 percent share will result in more than $50.2 million of local acquisition and development projects to enhance the quality of life in Illinois.

Southern Illinois Projects
(A) Land Acquisition projects
(D) Park Development projects

(D) ALTON, CITY OF (Madison County) $208,000, to redevelop the 4.4-acre Olin Park on State Street.  Facilities include a playground, basketball court, bleachers, picnic shelters, a walking path, drinking fountains, seating and lighting.  (Contact: Michael Drake, 618/463-3580)

(D) GODFREY, VILLAGE OF (Madison County) $400,000, to further develop Glazebrook Park on Stamper Lane with four softball/junior diamonds and four full size baseball diamonds and associated infrastructure.   (Contact: Kimberly Caughran, 618/466-1483)

(D) MARYVILLE, VILLAGE OF (Madison County) $327,200, for additional facilities at the 60-acre Drost Park on Center Street.  The project consists of the construction of a circular basketball court, horseshoe pits, bocce courts, asphalt surfacing of the existing one-mile long rock walking trail, construction of new walking trails and connecting trails, portable bleachers, lighting of an existing ball diamond and additional parking. (Contact: Larry Gulledge, 618/345-7027)

(D) RED BUD, CITY OF (Randolph County) $246,600, to add recreation facilities at Lincoln Park. The plan calls for the construction of two tennis courts, a multi-purpose trail, exercise stations, and a football field.  (Contact: Pamela Kempfer, 618/282-2315)

(A) ST. CLAIR COUNTY, $750,000, to acquire 61 acres in the Shiloh Valley known as the Engelmann Farm. The land is being acquired for development as a public outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation area.  Future development of the site includes native grassland restoration and tree planting, a shelter, walking path, and a parking area. (Contact: Pam Hogan, 618/277-6600)

71 projects are being funded statewide through the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program facilitated through IDNR.  Of those, 12 will result in the purchase of new land and 59 will focus on outdoor recreation development.  They include 22 development projects for facilities that promote environmental and wetland studies, 19 projects that will provide initial recreation development of park sites for their respective communities, seven development projects that will include water play features know as “spraygrounds,” 31 development projects that will provide new playground equipment, and 14 projects that will create water based recreation by constructing access to lakes, rivers or streams.