River Trails Park District was awarded an Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in the amount of $400,000 for the redevelopment of Willow Trails Park. Gov. JB Pritzker announced $30.3 million in grants for 87 local park projects to help communities acquire open space and develop and improve recreational facilities throughout Illinois.
“The District staff and Board are extremely pleased and excited to acquire a grant for the Willow Trails Park Renewal project. This park has been in desperate need of attention for many years. We completed a Park Master Plan in 2021, which identified a total park makeover of approximately $2.6MM. This grant will allow us to address Phase 1 of this project.” River Trails Park District Executive Director Bret Fahnstrom said, “This phase includes new paths and walkways, all new playground features, sports courts, fitness stations, and other site amenities such as benches, water fountains, and security. Our architect, JSD Professional Services, has worked exceptionally well with River Trails Park District in Park Master Plans and OSLAD submittals.”
The grants announced are through the state’s Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). OSLAD grants can provide up to one-half of a project’s funds and, when combined with the investment of local matching funds, will support more than $56 million in local park development projects and land acquisitions statewide. The OSLAD program began in 1987 and has invested $433.5 million in 1,816 local park projects. The program receives dedicated funding from a percentage of the state’s Real Estate Transfer Tax.