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Posted on: January 31, 2024

Richton Park Awarded $200K Grant From Illinois OSLAD Program

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Richton Park has been awarded $200K Grant from OSLAD! 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. 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.

“Since day one as Governor, it’s been my mission to support the health and well-being of Illinoisans,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “With funding from the OLSAD program, municipalities across Illinois will have the opportunity to expand and improve local neighborhood parks through sport and recreational space, plants, playgrounds, and more. All across Illinois, we’re enhancing our state’s natural beauty and creating safer, healthier, and happier communities.”

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).

“I appreciate Governor Pritzker’s continued efforts to ensure funding for the OSLAD program, which is a vital tool for communities to build safe, engaging, and accessible outdoor spaces for their residents,” said IDNR Director Natalie Phelps Finnie. “An investment in the outdoors is an investment in the health and well-being of the people of Illinois. We know that 83% of Illinoisans consider access to outdoor recreational opportunities important for them and their families. And studies show time and again that that getting outside leads to better overall health.”

“OSLAD is one of the state’s most significant grant programs. For more than 30 years, it has raised the quality of life in communities throughout Illinois,” said Peter Murphy, president and CEO of the Illinois Association of Park Districts. “We commend Governor Pritzker and the General Assembly for their strong support and continued investment in local park and recreation projects that create opportunities for Illinois youth."

 “Investing in our outdoor spaces and local parks is a great opportunity to enrich the lives of many seeking a new modernized all-inclusive space for all,” said State Senator Dale Fowler of Harrisburg. “The OSLAD program not only invests in parks and recreation, but it also fosters a healthier, happier community for all.”

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