The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today that more than $3.6 million in federal grant funding has been approved for local governments to purchase land to be used for public access and recreation. Funding for the program is made available through the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).
“Providing federal grants for local governments to purchase land for more public access for enjoyment and exposure to the Illinois outdoors is a win-win for our local governments, and the people living in those communities,” said IDNR director Wayne Rosenthal.
The LWCF grant program, which is administered in Illinois by the IDNR, provides up to 50 percent of the cost of projects to help purchase land to be used for public access, with the local governments matching the value of the grants awarded.
The LWCF grant projects are:
Chicago Park District – 129th & Eggleston
Purchase 2.48 acres of property at 129th & Eggleston along the Little Calumet River. This site will be developed into a passive park with access to the river, and will include green space, native plantings and recreational programming. The park will also connect to the Major Taylor Bike Trail. Grant amount: $375,000.00
Forest Preserve District of Cook County – Horizon Farms/Spring Creek Greenway
Purchase approximately 23 acres of property on Algonquin Road to be a connection between the Spring Creek Preserve and Horizon Farm. The residential landscape will be transformed into a natural setting to provide a wildlife corridor and greenway connection between the existing
Forest Preserve holdings. Grant amount: $1,042,700.00
Des Plaines Park District – Oakwood Land
Purchase .69 acres of property for the development of a neighborhood park in the most densely populated area of the district. The land will be developed to include a playground, gazebo, fitness station and a basketball half-court. Grant amount: $331,700.00
Forest Preserve District of Kane County – Mill Creek Greenway Forest Preserve Addition
Purchase of 62.5 acres of property to be used as an extension of the Mill Creek Greenway. The project will involve a prairie and woodland restoration, trail and trail head additions, parking and signage. Grant amount: $750,000.00
Kendall County Forest Preserve District – Little Rock Creek Acquisition/Maramech Forest Preserve Addition
Purchase 135 acres of property along the Little Rock Creek adjacent to the Maramech Forest Preserve. The site will be developed to include parking, a shelter, interpretive trails with overlooks, and signs. Grant amount: $750,000.00
Wauconda Park District – Phil’s Beach Acquisition Project
Purchase of 3.5 acres of beachfront property on Bangs Lake. The site will be redeveloped and opened as a public beach area including parking, picnic areas, a splash pad, playground, bathhouse, and a beach area with amenities. Grant amount: $386,500.00
The LWCF grant program has been in existence since 1965. Prior to this year, more than $123 million has been awarded for 727 park projects in Illinois.