The Illinois Department of Natural Resources recently approved a budget of $29 Million for Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) Grants for Fiscal Year 2019. OSLAD Grants are funded through the Real Estate Transfer Tax. There has not been an open grant cycle since 2014, when we received the award for Bruce Ream Memorial Park. It is anticipated that this will be a highly competitive grant cycle. The Hampshire Township Park District is eligible to apply for an OSLAD grant as we received SAM.gov registration approval earlier this year. Applications are due by October 1st, 2018. The grant awards will be announced by spring, and construction will be required to be completed within two years. OSLAD grants fund up to 50% of park development, to a maximum of $400,000.
As the Park District recently started to improve the Park at Tuscany Woods with a third ballfield and LED lighting, this announcement prompted us to re-evaluate the original park design presented in November 2017. The original park design included three lighted ballfields, concession/restroom facility, playground, dog park, nature trail and walking path. The revised design includes the addition of many new elements that we have a need for in our community including a group picnic shelter with baggo courts, seasonal outdoor ice rink, designated flag football field, woodland and prairie restoration with interpretive signage, primitive campsites, and expansion of the parking lot to accommodate the increased use of this park. The project estimate is approximately $850,000. The Park District will be seeking the full $400,000 match from the OSLAD grant. The Park District’s match will be funded by Impact Fees from new home construction and Force Account Labor (in-house labor).
At the Park Board of Commissioners meeting on Monday, August 20th, the new park design was presented and discussed, as required by the OSLAD grant application. Attached is a rendering of the proposed design. A larger verson of this plan is available for viewing at our office at 390 South Ave. We look forward to enhancing this park and bringing exciting new recreational opportunities to Hampshire!