Application period open for OSLAD grants for park projects

Jayette Bolinski
Application period open for OSLAD grants for park projects

SPRINGFIELD – A long-standing grant program that helps communities cover the cost of local park development will offer up to 100% funding assistance for distressed communities for the first time in the history of the program.

Applications will be accepted through Sept. 30 for the next round of state-funded Open Space Land Acquisition and Development, or OSLAD, grants.

The fiscal year 2023 state budget signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker dedicates $56 million for the program – the largest allocation ever for OSLAD grants to help communities acquire and/or develop land for public parks and outdoor spaces. The grants are offered through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

Distressed communities that apply for an OSLAD grant may qualify for up to 100% funding assistance for their project. Funding assistance of up to 50% is available for all other qualifying communities that apply. To find out if a community is on the state's fiscal year 2023 OSLAD distressed communities list, visit

Grant awards up to $1,125,000 are available for land acquisition projects, while development or renovation projects are limited to a $600,000 grant maximum.

OSLAD is a matching program that provides an advance payment (for development projects only) that is 50% of the grant award amount shortly after the grant agreement is executed. The local agency must demonstrate and possess the ability to finance the remaining costs of an approved project prior to receipt of remaining grant funds. The OSLAD program is funded through a percentage of the state's Real Estate Transfer Tax.

Applications must be submitted to IDNR through the Amplifund Grant Management System at by 5 p.m. Sept. 30, 2022.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found at For more information about the OSLAD program, visit or call the IDNR grants office at 217-782-7481.

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