david mirabal Nh iEeDlMZ8 unsplash1ROCKFORD – With an announcement Wednesday by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, local park and recreation projects throughout Illinois are being awarded grants and State Senator Steve Stadelman is pleased to share that the Villages of New Milford and Machesney Park are receiving more than $500,000 each for land acquisition and recreational development.

“Revitalizing our parks and recreational spaces means making big investments in our green spaces and ensuring equitable access to the luxuries they provide,” said Stadelman (D-Rockford). “I look forward to the investments in New Milford and Machesney Park and am excited to see these new additions coming to our local parks.”

The grants represent the largest round of Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grants in the 36-year history of the program. In addition, for the first time in the history of the program, funding will cover 10 percent of eligible projects located in economically distressed communities, resulting in 22 underserved locations receiving OSLAD grants.

OSLAD awarded $600,000 to projects in the Village of New Milford including new playground equipment, pickleball and other game courts, landscaping and expansion of parking and pathways. As an economically distressed and underserved community, 100 percent of the costs associated with the project will be covered.

IDNR also awarded $506,150 to the Village of Machesney Park to enlarge Stone’s Landing Park by purchasing as many as seven private properties.

“Funding our parks and recreation programs ensures residents have places to take their kids, exercise, and enjoy the great outdoors, and this program is one way we can help reinvigorate our communities,” Stadelman said. “While these funds are a welcome resource to help local parks expand and renovate, I will continue to work with my colleagues to bring funding back to improve the quality of live in the communities we represent.”

OSLAD grants typically provide up to 50 percent of funding for a project – excluding economically distressed communities where 10 percent of project costs have been covered. The other 5 percent are supplied by matching funds from the project’s local government agency. A full list of OSLAD grant awardees can be found here.