Gov. Blagojevich Announces over $18 Million in Park Development Grants

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Dollars to help fund 48 new park projects in northern Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced $18.2 million in grants for dozens of projects at existing parks and development of new parks throughout northern Illinois.  The funds will be used for 48 projects in northern Illinois, including land acquisition, construction of new trails and playgrounds, and the creation of new recreational opportunities including athletic fields and fishing piers.

“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.”

“I’m pleased and appreciative that the Hoffman Estates Park District was awarded an OSLAD grant for $325,000,” said State Representative Fred Crespo (D-Streamwood).  “I would like to thank Governor Blagojevich and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for their continued support of OSLAD Grants.  As a nineteen year resident of Hoffman Estates and through my extensive involvement with the Hoffman Estates Park District I can attest that the Park District and Black Bear Park will truly benefit, as will my constituents.”
“The OSLAD program is a tremendous program that assists communities in providing, preserving and developing open spaces, which benefit everyone,” said State Senator Pamela J. Althoff (R-Crystal Lake).  “We’re extremely pleased that the Crystal Lake Park District received a grant to provide additional recreation facilities at Sterne’s Woods and Fen.  This area is not only beneficial to the community but also an Illinois Nature Preserve.”

“We understand how important Sunset Park is to Lake in the Hills and McHenry County and we’re extremely excited to have more OSLAD dollars entering the community,” said Sen. Althoff.  “This park not only provides beautiful open space within the village and county but it also provides recreational, sporting and family opportunities for everyone.  This park has been a goal of the village and we’re thrilled that we’ve been able to work with them to meet the needs and desires of the community.”

“I am delighted to learn that Will County will be the recipient of over $1.7 million from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and their Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Program fund (OSLAD). This funding will help enhance the parks, trails and recreational opportunities in Will County,” said Sen. A.J. Wilhelmi (D-Crest Hill).

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.

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

(D) AURORA, CITY OF (Kane County) $400,000, to provide new recreational amenities at the 325-acre Phillips Park in south Aurora.  Park elements include a splash pad, dog park, skate park, fencing and lighting of the existing ball fields, a volleyball court, multi-use trail with fitness stations, floating boat docks and shoreline restoration of Mastodon Lake.  (Contact: Jim Pilmer, 630/898-7228)

(D) BARTLETT PARK DISTRICT (Cook County) $311,400, to develop 8 acres on Lambert Lane for use as a neighborhood park.  Facilities include a playground, shelter, tennis court, 1/2 court basketball, walking path with fitness stations, a dog park, an arboretum and native prairie plants for site landscaping.  (Contact: Jon Carlson, 630/837-3464)

(D) BATAVIA PARK DISTRICT (Kane County) $242,900, to renovate the 11.4-acre Prairie/Lathem Park on Lathem Street.  Park elements include two basketball courts, two tennis courts, two ball fields, a playground and a wet prairie demonstration area with interpretive signs.  (Contact: Michael Clark, 630/879-5235)

(D) BLOOMINGDALE PARK DISTRICT (DuPage County) $295,000, to improve Lakeview Park on Broker Road.  Project components include a playground area, shelter, fishing pier, pathway improvements, existing ball field upgrade, native landscaping, and parking.  (Contact: Steve Scholten, 630/529-3650)

(D) BUFFALO GROVE PARK DISTRICT (Lake County) $400,000, to renovate the 35 year old Willow Stream Pool on Farrington Drive.  The project involves a total re-build of the pool shell to include better bather load capacity, a zero depth edge, an energy efficient mechanical system, and a bathhouse reconfiguration to fully accommodate all people and families. (Contact: Michael Rylko, 847/850-2100)

(D) BURBANK PARK DISTRICT (Cook County) $400,000, to redevelop Harr Park on Laramie Avenue by adding a multi-use athletic field, a new playground, multi-use trail with fitness stations, tennis court renovation, basketball court construction, pathway lighting, and a new park shelter. (Contact: Bill Olsen, 708/599-2070)

(D) BURR RIDGE PARK DISTRICT (DuPage County) $400,000, to improve the ecosystem of the wetland area at Harvester Park by eradicating non-native invasive plants and planting wetland and prairie plants, as well as establishing habitat for native fish populations. 

Facilities include an accessible trail, floating docks, a fishing pier, footbridge, a shelter, an outdoor amphitheater, and interpretive signs. (Contact: James Pacanowski, 630/920-1969)

(A) CHICAGO, CITY OF (Cook County) $1,150,000, to acquire 0.3 acres of land adjacent to

the Bloomingdale linear trail park project.  Located in the Chicago Logan Square Community Area, the site will become the anchor entryway to the Bloomingdale trail and will be developed with a playground area.  (Contact: Kathleen Dickhut, 312/744-1074)

(A) CLARENDON HILLS PARK DISTRICT (DuPage County) $551,500, to acquire 2.38 acres on Western Avenue south of 55th Street.  Future development includes a playground, multi-purpose athletic field, a walking path around a wooded portion of the property and parking.  (Contact: Donald Scheltens, 630/323-2626)

(D) CRYSTAL LAKE PARK DISTRICT (McHenry County) $177,800, to provide additional passive recreation facilities at Sterne’s Woods and Fen, an Illinois Nature Preserve.  Project elements include a picnic shelter with restrooms and fireplace, additional parking designed to accommodate school buses, interpretive signs, trail improvements, bioswales and wet detention areas with native plants. (Contact: Kirk Reimer, 815/459-0680)

(A) DEKALB COUNTY FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT $384,200, to acquire 76 acres adjacent to Afton Forest Preserve on McGirr Road.    The site includes a portion of Little Rock Creek and will be restored to include prairie, oak savannah and wetland and stream habitat.  Future development includes a hiking trail, a picnic area, and parking.  (Contact: Terry Hannan, 815/895-7191)

(D) DEKALB PARK DISTRICT (DeKalb County) $125,000, to develop the 5-acre Devonaire Farms Park in western DeKalb.  Facilities include a playground, half-court basketball court, shelter, a walking path, and landscaping. (Contact: Cynthia Capek, 815/758-6663)

A) DOWNERS GROVE PARK DISTRICT (DuPage County) $750,000, to acquire 4.9 acres on Walnut Avenue.  Future development includes two soccer fields, a shelter, looped walking trail, and parking. (Contact: Dan Cermak, 630/963-1304)

(D) DUNDEE TOWNSHIP (Kane County) $400,000, to develop 178 acres of the Jelkes Creek Bird Sanctuary on Boncosky Road.  The project includes wetland and prairie restoration, a community bike path connection, fishing ledges, interpretive trails with signs, a shelter, restrooms, and parking.  (Contact: Susan Harney, 847/428-8092)

(D) DUPAGE COUNTY FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT $252,000, to redevelop a former 12-acre swimming beach area at Blackwell Forest Preserve near Warrenville.  Planned development includes a public archery range, a shelter, fishing pier, trail head access to the regional bike trail system, resource restoration and interpretation, and parking lot improvements. (Contact: Andrea Hoyt, 630/933-7200)

(D) EVANSTON, CITY OF (Cook County) $400,000, to redevelop Foster Field on Simpson Street.  The playgrounds, tennis courts, basketball court, pathways and parking will be upgraded and new site furnishings will be installed.  (Contact: Julia Carroll, 847/866-2936)

(A) FORRESTON, VILLAGE OF (Ogle County) $133,500, to acquire approximately 17.8 acres for the expansion of Warnken Park.  Future Phase I development includes a baseball field, ice rink, horseshoe pits, a volleyball court, recreation path and concession/restroom building.   (Contact: Michael Harn, 815/938-2400)

(D) FOX VALLEY PARK DISTRICT (DuPage County) $400,000, to develop the 34-acre Spring Lake Community Park on McCoy Drive.   Project components include a multi-age playground, shelter, canoe launch and fishing pier on the 20-acre lake, paths, ballfields, soccer fields, a basketball court, restrooms and parking improvements which include a bioswale.  (Contact: Steve Messerli, 630/897-6896)  

(D) FRANKFORT SQUARE PARK DISTRICT (Will County) $400,000, to construct a small nature center, interpretive (habitat) gardens, a wetland boardwalk, osprey nesting platforms, a fishing/boating pier, stone shoreline wildlife observation and fishing platforms and a park shelter at 55 acre Island Prairie Park on Braemar Lane.  (Contact: James Randall, 815/469-3524)

(D) GLENVIEW PARK DISTRICT (Cook County) $400,000, to develop the 95-acre Community Park West on Central Avenue. Project components include two ball fields, shelters, a dog park, bocce ball courts, horseshoes, a playground and interpretive/exercise paths.  (Contact: Chuck Balling, 847/657-3215)

(D) GRAYSLAKE PARK DISTRICT (Lake County) $400,000, to develop an additional 20 acres of land being donated as part of the new 95-acre Alleghany Community Park.   Phase II development includes two additional ball fields and parking, a picnic shelter, two full basketball courts, two lacrosse fields, a JFL-size grid field, and a looped walking path. (Contact: Robert Lashbrook, 847/223-7529)

(D) HAMPSHIRE TOWNSHIP PARK DISTRICT (Kane County) $157,400, to develop the 3.1-acre Dorothy J. Schmidt Memorial Park in a new subdivision south of Illinois Route 72.  Development includes a basketball court, two shelters, disc golf, a playground, a path system with fitness stations, and a court game area with shuffleboard. (Contact: Robert Whitehouse, 847/683-2690)

(D) HOFFMAN ESTATES PARK DISTRICT (Cook County) $325,000, to develop Black Bear Park off Shoe Factory Road near Devonshire Woods and White Oak subdivisions.   The project includes a playground, basketball court, shelter, fishing pier, disc golf course, multi-use asphalt path with fitness stations, and interpretative signs. (Contact: Dean Bostrum, 847/885-7500)

(D) JOLIET PARK DISTRICT (Will County) $125,000, to enhance the 30-acre Nowell Park on Mills Road.  New development will include a walking trail, large pavilion, sand play area, basketball courts, and the resurfacing of two tennis courts.  (Contact: Dominic Egizio, 815-741-7277)

(D) KANE COUNTY FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT, $400,000, to develop the 561-acre Muirhead Springs Forest Preserve on Rohrsen Road off Illinois Route 47.  The project includes equestrian trails, hiking trails with interpretive signs, picnic shelters, a restroom, parking, and wetland and prairie restoration. (Contact: Monica Meyers, 630/232-5980)

(D) KENDALL COUNTY FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT, $369,000, to develop the 120-acre Jay Woods Preserve on Creek Road northwest of Plano.   Components include interpretive trails, a shelter and latrine, prairie and woodland seeding, wetland restoration, and parking areas.  (Contact: Jason Pettit, 630/553-4131)

(A) KENDALL COUNTY FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT, $750,000, to acquire 233 acres south of Millbrook off Fox River Drive.  The property contains a mile of Fox River frontage and future development includes an interpretive trail with signs, fishing stations, a canoe launch, shelter, and parking area.  (Contact: Jason Pettit, 630/553-4131)

(D) LAKE FOREST, CITY OF (Lake County) $400,000, for the initial development of a new 35-acre community park located along Illinois Route 60 in the far western portion of the community.   Phase I development will include two ballfields, two soccer/grid fields, a 2 mile looped exercise path, a park pavilion, and a parking lot.  A native prairie grass area with educational signs will also be established.  (Contact: Mary VanArsdale, 847/234-6700)

(D) LAKE IN THE HILLS, VILLAGE OF (McHenry County) $400,000, to add facilities to Sunset Park on Miller Road.  The project includes a youth football field and a softball field, a spray park, shelter, a loop exercise path, and interpretive signs at the existing wetland area.  (Contact: Trudy Wakeman, 847/960-7461)

(D) LAKE ZURICH, VILLAGE OF (Lake County) $239,200, to renovate Bristol Trails Park on Bristol Trail Road.   Improvements include a circular basketball court, new playground, picnic gazebo, a new walking trail with fitness stations, and a parking area. (Contact: John Dixon, 847/438-5141)

(D) LISLE, VILLAGE OF (DuPage County) $400,000, to develop a new 4.5-acre park in downtown Lisle.  A two-acre pond (being constructed separately) will be surrounded with a lighted recreation trail, native plants with interpretive signs, a gazebo, a nature themed playground and a spray park.  (Contact: Gerald Sprecher, 630/271-4116)

(D) LOCKPORT TOWNSHIP PARK DISTRICT (Will County) $400,000, to develop the

80-acre Prairie Bluff Park on Renwick Road. The project includes two softball fields, trails, a picnic shelter, playground area, interpretive signs and parking.  (Contact: Sue Micklevitz, 815/838-1183)

(A) MCHENRY COUNTY CONSERVATION DISTRICT, $750,000, to acquire a 57-acre parcel on Crystal Lake Road in eastern McHenry County.  Future development includes trails with interpretive signs. (Contact: John Kremer, 815/338-6223)

(D) MIDLOTHIAN PARK DISTRICT (Cook County) $326,800, to redevelop Bremen Heights Park on 144th Street.   The project includes a multi-use sports field, multi-use trail with fitness stations, a playground, a new park pavilion, renovated parking, and security lighting. (Contact: Evelyn Gleason, 708/371-6191)

(D) MORTON GROVE PARK DISTRICT (Cook County) $400,000, to develop the 8-acre Frank Hren Park on Oak Park Avenue. The site will be developed with soccer fields, a restroom/picnic shelter/storage facility, a t-ball/kickball area, a walking path with three fitness stations, native prairie plants, and a track and field sprint area.  (Contact: Jeff Fougerousse, 847/965-1200)

(D) NAPERVILLE PARK DISTRICT (DuPage County) $400,000, to add facilities to 19-acre Winding Creek Park off Bailey Road in south central Naperville.  The project includes the renovation of two existing ball fields and the playground, expansion of the parking lot, stabilization of the pond/creek bank, additional native plants, a soccer field, shelter, restroom building, a multi-use trail, and a nature overlook with interpretive signs.  (Contact: Mindy Munn, 630/848-3514)

(D) OAK PARK, PARK DISTRICT OF (Cook County) $400,000, to renovate and expand recreation amenities at 3.6-acre Longfellow Park on Adams Street.  Proposed development includes new playground equipment, a new and expanded water splash pad area, interior pathways and a full court basketball area, renovated soccer-ball field area, restrooms, and park landscaping with interpretive signs. (Contact: Gary Balling, 708/383-0002)

(D) PALOS HEIGHTS, CITY OF (Cook County) $80,700, to develop Walsh Westgate Park on Ridgeland Avenue and Shadow Creek Drive.  Project components include a playground, picnic shelter, fitness stations along the existing walking path, an open playfield, and a putting green.  (Contact: Mike Leonard, 708/361-1807)

(D) PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP PARK DISTRICT (Will County) $400,000, to develop Clow Stephens Community Park on Lily Cache Road.  Project components include the construction of an entrance and parking area, a restroom facility, two playground areas, site trails, a dog park, shelter, landscaping, prairie restoration, and a community garden area.  (Contact: Larry Newton, 815/436-8812)  

(D) ROCKFORD PARK DISTRICT (Winnebago County) $192,500, to develop Linden Pointe Park south of Bypass Route 20.  Facilities include a playground, softball field, a multi-purpose field, a shelter with water and electric, and access paths. (Contact: Tim Dimke, 815/987-8800)

(D) ROMEOVILLE, VILLAGE OF (Will County) $400,000, to develop the 14.5-acre Deer Crossing Park on Romeo Road east of Weber Road.   Project components include an amphitheater, white tail deer educational area, exercise stations along a trail system, a playground, picnic shelter, and native landscaping with interpretive nodes.   (Contact: Kelly Rajzer, 815-886-6222)

(D) ROUND LAKE AREA PARK DISTRICT (Lake County) $400,000, to develop the

14.25-acre Fairfield Sports Park on Beverly Drive.  Facilities include a softball field, playground, trail/walkway, a family game area, picnic shelters, and wetland interpretive stations. (Contact: Jeff Nehilia, 847/546-8558)

(D) SHOREWOOD, VILLAGE OF (Will County) $400,000, to develop the 3-acre Town Center Park adjacent to the new Village Hall.  The project includes an amphitheater and performance stage that overlooks the new lake and will also be used as a fishing platform. Other proposed amenities include bocce courts, horseshoe pits, a spray park, playground, trail system with exercise stations, a shelter and prairie restoration with educational signs.  (Contact: Kurt Carroll, 815/725-2150)

(D) SOUTH ELGIN, VILLAGE OF (Kane County) $225,000, for Phase II development of Thornwood Park on McDonald Road.  Park elements include a soccer field, skate park, trails with fitness stations, native prairie plants and landscaping.  (Contact: Jim Reuter, 847/622-0003)

(D) SYCAMORE PARK DISTRICT (DeKalb County) $300,000, to develop 28-acre Larson Park in northwest Sycamore along the south branch of the Kishwaukee River.

The project includes a playground, shelter, boardwalk and fishing pier, multi-purpose path, an outdoor environmental component with dedicated learning pods, prairie restoration, stream bank restoration, and parking. (Contact: David Peek, 815/895-3365)

(D) WILL COUNTY, FOREST PRESERVE DISTRICT OF, $400,000, for the initial development of Rock Run Rookery Preserve off of Channahon and Youngs Roads.  Phase I development will provide the Youngs Road access and will include parking, a shelter, latrine, drinking fountain, trail, fishing areas, and small boat access area.  (Contact: Marcy DeMauro, 815/727-8700)

(D) WOODRIDGE PARK DISTRICT (DuPage County) $400,000, to develop a water spray playground area located within the Cypress Cove Family Aquatic Park on 83rd Street.  Separate toddler (1-6 years of age) and preteen (6-12 years of age) areas will be developed.  The project also includes additional fencing, shade structures, a building to provide access control, filtration components, and restrooms.  (Contact: Mike Adams, 630/353-3300)

(D) YORKVILLE UNITED CITY OF (Kendall County) $400,000, to develop the 7-acre Raintree Park on Prairie Crossing Drive.   Recreation elements planned for the site include a playground, picnic shelter, looped trail with exercise stations, four lighted tennis courts, a multi-purpose field with a backstop, landscaping and parking. (Contact: David Mogle, 630/553-4341)

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.