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Governor announces millions for area park and open space projects

Gov. Pat Quinn has announced $16.5 million in investments for 46 local park projects across Illinois.

The investments will expand outdoor recreation opportunities in communities across Illinois.

The projects are funded through the state’s Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program and administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Funding recipients are required to contribute at least half of the total project cost, which means that today’s $16.5 million investment will generate more than $33 million of local park development projects and land acquisition across the state.

“OSLAD is a great program that provides dedicated matching funds to communities striving to protect critical open space, especially in parts of the state that are developing rapidly,” Marc Miller, director of DNR said. “This program is an important tool for us to help communities provide enhanced recreational opportunities.”

The OSLAD program began in 1986 and, not including today’s announced projects, has provided approximately $377.8 million for 1,641 local park projects in Illinois. In some instances, funding will enable communities to acquire land to be used for future green space. The program is funded through the Real Estate Transfer Tax, which is part of every property sale in Illinois.

Among the recipients and project descriptions are:

– Venice Park District, $200,300 for Phase 1 improvements.

– City of Waterloo, $41,900 for a fishing pier accessible for persons with disabilities.

– City of Belleville, $298,600 for Bicentennial Park improvements.

– Village of Fairmont City, $191,200 for Granby Park.

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