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.

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced applications are being accepted for grants through the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant programs.

The 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 outdoor recreation areas. OSLAD is a matching program that provides an advance payment (for development projects only) that is 50 percent of the grant award amount shortly after the grant agreement is executed. The local agency must demonstrate and possess the ability to finance the remaining costs of an approved project prior to receipt of remaining grant funds. The OSLAD program is funded through a percentage of the state’s Real Estate Transfer Tax.

The LWCF is a program that utilizes federal funds to acquire land to be used for outdoor recreation. The LWCF program provides up to 50 percent of the certified market value of property acquired to be developed into outdoor recreation areas. No advance payment is allowed on acquisition projects. LWCF is funded nationally by revenue from offshore oil and gas leases.

Both programs are managed by the IDNR with concurrent application due dates, equal grant maximums, and similar general rules.

The application period for both programs opened July 15, 2021 and applications must be submitted to the IDNR by 5:00 p.m. Sept. 1, 2021. The Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found at https://www.illinois.gov/sites/gata/Pages/default.aspx.

Consult the IDNR website at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/grants/Pages/OpenSpaceLandsAquisitionDevelopment-Grant.aspx for more information.

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