Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced $15.3 million in local park projects, including nearly $1.2 million for five Metro East parks. The projects are funded through the state's Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program, which is designed to expand outdoor recreation and open space in communities throughout Illinois.
"Whether you are in a big city or small town, local parks let families across Illinois enjoy nature and spend time together," Quinn said. "These projects improve parks throughout the state and expand green space in dozens of communities, creating jobs and making our state a better place to live and work."
The OSLAD program's funding recipients are responsible for contributing at least half of the total project cost. The $15.3 million awarded statewide this year, combined with the grantees' matching funds, will result in more than $30.6 million of local park development projects and land acquisition in Illinois.
A list of this year's OSLAD grant recipients in central Illinois include the following municipalities.
The Village of Bethalto in Madison County will receive $400,000 for phase II construction of the 40-acre Culp Sports Complex. Development includes four baseball/softball diamonds, a football field, soccer field, bleachers, restroom facilities, open green space, interior roadways and parking.
The City of Belleville in St. Clair County will receive $335,000 to renovate South Side Park on 6th and Monroe streets. The project includes a new playground, an ADA-accessible fishing pier with solar lighting, softball field reconstruction, a new warning track and padding for a wall behind home plate, bench swings, picnic tables, a restroom building, an extension of the bike trail around the existing lake and parking lot improvements.
The Village of Shiloh in St. Clair County will receive $276,500 to acquire the 32.7-acre Yorktown Golf Course, located in the southwestern part of the village. Improvements will include asphalt trails throughout the course, multi-use trails in a separate area, two acres of native plantings, a pavilion and renovations to the existing restrooms.
The City of Alton in Madison County will receive $148,600 to renovate a portion of the historic Riverview Park overlooking the Mississippi River and the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway. The project includes improvements to the existing bandstand, walkway and landscape enhancements, renovations to existing failing walls, a plaza overlook structure, solar-powered site lighting, bike racks and a 'grasscrete' driveway access into the park.
The Village of Batchtown in Calhoun County will receive $15,000 to renovate the playground at Batchtown Park. The project will include the removal of existing playground equipment and the installation of commercial play equipment and swings that meet safety specifications and ADA guidelines. Park benches and trash receptacles will also be added.