The Oak Lawn Park District was recently awarded a $400,000 Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant for the redevelopment of Centennial Park (93rd and Nashville). Improvements will include new softball fields, soccer field renovation, lighting upgrades, golf practice area, washroom and concession stand, walking paths with fitness stations, sand volleyball improvements, and native landscaping. Renovations are tentatively scheduled to begin August 5, 2015.
The Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) Program is a state-financed grant program that provides funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and/or development of land for public parks and open space. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources manages the grant.
Projects vary from small neighborhood parks or tot lots to large community and county parks and nature areas. The state program is financed by a percentage of the state’s Real Estate Transfer Tax.
Funding assistance up to 50% (90% for distressed communities) of approved project costs can be obtained. Grant awards up to $750,000 are available for acquisition projects, while development/renovation projects are limited to a $400,000 grant maximum.