Governor JB Pritzker announced $28.9 million in grants for 89 local projects that will help communities acquire open space and develop and improve recreational facilities throughout Illinois. The funding includes $400,000 in state monies for Duke Park, the new playground being built in conjunction with the Connect Glencoe trail at the corner of Lincoln Drive and Crescent Drive in Glencoe.
Duke Park will include a hand-cranked train, a group swing, an interactive water feature, plus slides, climbers, and play panels with a poured-in-place safety surface. Construction of the park is expected to start in late spring and be completed by fall.
“Investments in local park projects are good for families and recreation enthusiasts, helping them enjoy outdoor activities and making Illinois communities better places to live and work,” Governor JB Pritzker said. “Parks projects also boost local economic development efforts and spur additional investment throughout the state.”
Connect Glencoe will activate a series of linear parks along Old Green Bay Road between Maple Hill Road and Park Avenue. The ½-mile project will connect five separate parks with a meandering path that takes walkers, runners, and bikers through an urban garden of mature trees. The trail will connect users to various gardens, activity amenities, including a new playground at Duke Park. The 10-foot wide trail will also connect to downtown businesses, the lakefront, and the train station.
The grants announced today are funded through the state’s Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The OSLAD program can provide up to one-half of a project’s funds. When combined with the investment of local matching funds, the grants announced today will support more than $56 million in local park development projects and land acquisitions statewide.
The OSLAD program has invested $403.2 million in 1,729 local park projects since its inception in 1987. The program receives dedicated funding from a percentage of the state’s Real Estate Transfer Tax.
“Of the nearly $2 million in estimated development project costs, we’re proud to say 75% of the project will be paid for using state and federal grants and a private donation,” said Director Parks and Maintenance Chris Leiner. In addition to the OSLAD grant, Connect Glencoe was awarded $867,150 in funding from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Bicycle Path Grant Program and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP-L). The playground also received a private donation from the family of Sherri Takiff Zirlin to rename it Duke Park after construction is complete.
“Grants and donations allow us to create a new amenity for the enrichment and enjoyment of all Glencoe residents while providing the opportunity to stretch our existing tax dollars,” said Executive Director Lisa Sheppard. “We are very grateful to Governor Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning for helping us make Duke Park and Connect Glencoe a reality.”