Park West Recreation Expansion
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Oregon Park District Receives Illinois Department of Natural Resources OSLAD Grant
The Oregon Park District was selected as one of forty communities throughout Illinois to receive a 2010 Illinois Department of Natural Resources Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) Grant. This reimbursable development grant for Oregon Park West requires the Park District to complete all improvements successfully within 3 years. Upon completion of the project and final inspection by the Department of Natural Resources, the Park District will be reimbursed $400,000. 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 parks and open space. The OSLAD program is managed in Illinois by the Department of Natural Resources. 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% 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.
The Oregon Park West Improvement plan calls for the construction of a continuous loop asphalt trail throughout the park with a new segment of trail crossing Hawk Prairie by virtue of an elevated boardwalk. Benches, shade shelters and interpretive signage are anticipated in the overall design, as the trail will provide access to the Rock River Center, the Oregon Nursing Home and the Village of Progress. The Oregon Park West development plan also calls for the construction of a new skate park and an interactive water playground near the basketball courts off Koontz Drive. In addition, the plan calls for improving the drainage swale along the east border of the park with a bio‐swale to slow the flow of storm water runoff from the neighboring agricultural fields and local roads and highways before entering the Rock River. This will reduce siltation and filter road salts, herbicides or fertilizers from entering into the Rock River. An important benefit will be the bio diversity by creating this unique habitat and land laboratory, enhancing wildlife and for outdoor recreation and education opportunities for our elementary and summer day camp students using Oregon Park West. The final design for these unique elements will be developed through collaboration with residents and students, park staff and the landscape architecture firm Conservation Design Forum (CDF).
The Board of Commissioners has authorized the issuance of general obligation bonds for capital projects and repairs to address development costs. Elements of this project are identified in our capital‐planning guides and our Comprehensive Master Plan that can be located on our web site at www.oregonpark.org. Capital planning was recommended from public input and a Strategic Plan developed in 2005. Cash on hand and bonds will pay for the project without increasing property tax bills.