IDNR announce $54.9 million in grants for 111 local park and recreation projects throughout Illinois

Press Release – Tuesday, January 30, 2024
SPRINGFIELD – Nearly $55 million in state grants are being awarded for 111 local park projects throughout Illinois to help communities acquire land and develop recreational opportunities, Gov. JB Pritzker announced today.
For the second year in a row, the governor ensured funding was set aside for economically distressed communities, resulting in 32 underserved locations receiving $18.7 million in grants from the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development, or OSLAD, program. This is the 37th year for the program, which is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Established by the Illinois General Assembly in 1986, OSLAD is a cost-sharing program between state and local governments that helps communities fund land acquisition and development for parks and outdoor recreation projects. It’s become one of the most popular grant programs in Illinois. Since it was established, OSLAD has awarded nearly $585 million for park projects throughout Illinois (including the awards announced today).
The program is funded through a percentage of the state’s Real Estate Transfer Tax.

Grants can be awarded up to maximum of $600,000 and are 100% funded for distressed communities, of which Dwight is categorized.

The Village could also consider adding some of their own funds to aid with additional developments.

The Phase One graphic below, which the OSLAD Grant would cover, shows proposed improvements to the tennis court area which would include reconditioning one side of the tennis court and adding two pickleball courts to the other side. Adjoining the courts would be a new shade structure, a picnic shelter, and fitness equipment. Also, the playground at the southeast corner of Renfrew would be replaced with modernized equipment.

The rocket play structure would not be impacted by this grant proposal and will stay in place.

Some of the other local projects awarded FY2024 OSLAD grants include:
Grundy County
Village of Minooka – $600,000
Kankakee County
Kankakee Valley Park District – $600,000*
Limestone Park District – $500,000
Village of Bradley – $600,000
Livingston County
Village of Dwight – $600,000*
Will County
Frankfort Square Park District – $600,000
Lockport Township Park District – $600,000
Manhattan Park District – $234,200
Village of Shorewood – $600,000
*Denotes an economically distressed community.