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By Diane Brangenberg and Steven Spencer
It was announced last week that the Village of Kampsville is one of the 111 communities in the state to be awarded as a part of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program.
“It is with great pleasure that I can let everyone know that we have officially been announced as a recipient,” Mayor Amanda Johnson announced after the village was informed on Tuesday that they’d be recipients of $600,000.
The OSLAD grants are fully funded grants for park renovations to help communities throughout the state with land development and recreational opportunities.
“Since day one as Governor, it’s been my mission to support the health and well-being of Illinoisans,” Governor JB Pritzker said in a press release. “With funding from the OLSAD program, municipalities across Illinois will have the opportunity to expand and improve local neighborhood parks through sport and recreational space, plants, playgrounds, and more. All across Illinois, we’re enhancing our state’s natural beauty and creating safer, healthier, and happier communities.”
Established by the Illinois General Assembly in 1986 and administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, OSLAD is a cost-sharing program between state and local governments that helps communities fund land acquisition and development for parks and outdoor recreation projects. It’s become one of the most popular grant programs in Illinois. Since it was established, OSLAD has awarded nearly $585 million for park projects throughout Illinois.
“I appreciate Governor Pritzker’s continued efforts to ensure funding for the OSLAD program, which is a vital tool for communities to build safe, engaging, and accessible outdoor spaces for their residents,” IDNR Director Natalie Phelps Finnie stated. “An investment in the outdoors is an investment in the health and well-being of the people of Illinois. We know that 83% of Illinoisans consider access to outdoor recreational opportunities important for them and their families. And studies show time and again that that getting outside leads to better overall health.”
The process for Kampsville was set forth by Mayor Johnson who worked closely with Benton and Associates, the Village’s Clerk and Village trustees to secure all the necessary documentation. It also would not have been possible without the help of volunteers over the summer who helped circulate petitions for signatures.