Monday, May 29, 2023

Governor awards grant to improve Vienna City Park

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced Tuesday morning that $28.9 million in grants for 89 local projects that will help communities acquire open space and develop and improve recreational facilities throughout Illinois.

One of those is a $360,000 grant for improvements at Vienna City Park.

“Investments in Illinois’ local parks makes it easier for families and recreation enthusiasts to enjoy our state’s beauty and help their communities thrive,” Pritzker said. “Parks projects will also create jobs, providing a boost to local economic development efforts in dozens of communities and spurring additional investment throughout the state.”

Phil Morris, the director of the Forman Depot Welcome Center in Vienna, is excited to hear that the city is getting the grant, which will add restrooms and an amphitheater at Vienna City Park.

“I think it’s going to be a tremendous asset to the community to have restrooms and to have events there for the whole community,” Morris said. “That’s something we’ve needed for a long time.”

The grants announced Tuesday are through the state’s Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). 

The program will provide more than $28 million to support 87 projects, while two projects will be funded through in the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). 

The grant programs 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 $419.4 million in 1,765 local park projects. The program receives dedicated funding from a percentage of the state’s Real Estate Transfer Tax.