Governor Pritzker Recommends More Than $3 Million in Grants for Illinois Recreation Projects

Rachel Torbrt
Governor Pritzker Recommends More Than $3 Million in Grants for Illinois Recreation Projects
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Governor JB Pritzker today recommended to two federal agencies more than $3 million in federal grants for projects to help communities acquire open space for development of outdoor recreational facilities and meet the growing demand for improved trails.

The grants, supported through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and Recreational Trails Program (RTP), are awarded by the National Park Service and Federal Highway Administration respectively.

“These local projects will allow families to enjoy the outdoors through new recreation and trail options in the communities supporting these projects,” Governor Pritzker said. “These projects also create jobs and boost local economic development efforts, helping local communities thrive.”

Nine local community recreational projects were recommended by Governor Pritzker to the National Park Service with funds administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The matching grant program, when combined with the investment of local funds, will support more than $7.7 million in local park land acquisitions in Illinois.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 was enacted to help preserve, develop, and ensure access to outdoor recreation facilities to strengthen the health of U.S. citizens. The law created the Land and Water Conservation Fund to implement its outdoor recreation goals. The LWCF program began in Illinois in 1966 and has invested $290.7 million in 751 local park projects over the years. The program receives its revenue from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).

A list of this year’s recommended LWCF grants and project information is below:

Cook County Forest Preserve District (FPD); Deer Creek Corridor Acquisitions; Cook; $1,150,000
City of Edwardsville; Richards Brick Wood Acquisition; Madison; $150,000
Village of Elmwood Park; New Horizon Park; Development Project; Cook; $369,500
Kane County FPD; Acquisition of Rutland Bog and Surrounding Natural Areas; Kane; $750,000
City of Kankakee; Kankakee Riverwalk West; Kankakee; $96,200
Schaumburg Park District; Volkening Lake Gateway Property Acquisition; Cook; $234,200
Village of South Elgin; Wolf Property Acquisition; Kane; $99,200
City of Wamac; Park Improvement Project; Marion; $32,500
Westmont Park District Fritz Werley Park Expansion DuPage $137,500

Similarly, Governor Pritzker recommended $749,700 in grants for five local projects to improve trails and outdoor recreational facilities to the Federal Highway Administration. Funding for the recommended grants is supported by the federal government’s RTP, which provides up to 80 percent reimbursement to local grant recipients for the cost of the trail projects, with those local sponsors providing the balance of the funding for the projects. 

Grants may be awarded for the acquisition of land from willing sellers, for trail construction and rehabilitation, purchase of equipment for trail development and maintenance, restoration of areas damaged by unauthorized trail use, construction of trail-related support facilities, including parking and restrooms, and educational programs.  

The projects were endorsed by the Illinois Greenways and Trails Council, composed of representatives of statewide motorized and non-motorized user organizations, statewide agency organizations, organizations involved in greenways and trails, and metro-area greenways and trails coalitions.

A list of this year’s recommended RTP grants and project information is below:

Freeport Park District; Jane Addams Trail Improvements Project; Stephenson; $195,200
Highland Park Park District; Trailside facilities for trails at Highland Park's new 100-acre park; Lake; $57,500
McHenry County Conservation District; Prairie Trail McCullom Lake Road to Route 120 Renovation Project; McHenry; $200,000
City of Silvis; Phipps Park Trail Development; Rock Island; $97,000
Trail Recreation Effingham County; TREC Phase VI-B; Effingham; $200,000
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