SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced $1,270,500 in federal grant funding has been approved for local governments to purchase land to be used for public access and recreation. Funding for the program is made available through the National Park Service’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

“These federal grants provide local governments the opportunity to buy land that will allow more public access to outdoor recreation opportunities close to home for local residents and visitors to these communities,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal.

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The LWCF grant program, which is administered in Illinois by the IDNR, provides up to 50 percent of the cost of projects to help purchase land to be used for public access, with the local governments matching the value of the grants awarded.

This year’s LWCF grant projects are outlined below.

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Champaign County
• Champaign Park District, $137,000, for the acquisition of Human Kinetics Park, a 5.6-acre park that is privately owned but currently leased to the Champaign Park District. It will be developed into soccer fields, a multi-purpose field, a multi-purpose path and parking.

Cook County
• Glenview Park District, $383,500, for the acquisition of 2.95 acres of property adjacent to the Grove National Historic Landmark. This critical parcel is needed to reassemble the original acreage owned by the Kennicott Family and preserve the ecosystem on the property. Trails will be established on this property to connect to the existing trail system.

Kane County
• Forest Preserve District of Kane County, $750,000, for the acquisition of 149 acres adjacent to the Binnie Forest Preserve. Acquiring this property will add further protections to the wetlands on site and the Kishwaukee Headwaters. Wetlands and floodplains will be interpreted through signage and trails.

The LWCF grant program has been in existence since 1965. Prior to this year, more than $126 million has been awarded for 733 park projects in Illinois.

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