Park District of Oak Park Receives OSLAD Grant
The Park District of Oak Park was notified in February 2019 by the Office of Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Natural Resourcesthat our community has received a $400,000 matching grant for the renovation of Stevenson Park. These funds are part of the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) Grant Program which provides matching dollars for outdoor recreation space projects throughout Illinois.
Stevenson Park improvements, completed in spring 2020, include a new, accessible entryway which connects to a looped walking path and a new playground with an accessible surface. Adjacent to the playground is a game table area featuring chess and table tennis, the first table tennis in the parks system. The District also installed a hit/kick wall for lacrosse and soccer practice, a bioswale in the parkway along Lake Street and bike racks, benches and landscaping including native and ornamental trees and shrubs.
The Park District was eligible for this grant funding due to the successful passing of the “Renew Our Parks” referendum by Oak Park voters in April 2005. The local matching funds of $400,000 will come from the Park District of Oak Park’s Capital Improvement Budget. A site plan for Stevenson Park was completed in 2011 which is a requirement for an OSLAD grant application. Since the 2007, the Park District has secured over $6 million in grant funds from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to renovate 13 District parks including the construction of the Austin Gardens Environmental Education Center.
“This grant award, like the others before it, allows the Park District to improve our parks for the enjoyment and enrichment of all Oak Park residents while providing the opportunity to stretch our existing tax dollars,” Park District Executive Director Jan Arnold said. “The Park District is very grateful to Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for this grant funding.”