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. The federal Land & Water Conservation Fund program (known
as both LWCF and LAWCON) is a similar program with similar objectives.
Both are managed in Illinois by the Department of Natural Resources
with concurrent application due dates, equal grant maximums and similar
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. The federal program is financed nationally
by revenue from OSOD leases.
Under both programs,
funding assistance up to 50% (90% for distressed communities) 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
Clearwater Park, Bloomington
Written applications must be submitted
to IDNR between May 1 and July 1 of each calendar year, with grant awards
typically announced by December or January. Only those local government
agencies having statutory authority to acquire and develop land for
public park purposes are eligible to apply for and receive assistance
under the OSLAD and LWCF grant programs.
Applications are evaluated and prioritized
for funding assistance based upon recreation priorities and criteria
identified in the Department's Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation
Plan (SCORP). Lands acquired with OSLAD or LWCF funds are required to
be operated and maintained in perpetuity for public outdoor recreation.
Examples of eligible projects include:
of land for new park sites or park expansion, water frontage, nature
study, and natural resource preservation.
picnic and playground facilities;
outdoor nature interpretive
sports courts and play fields;
swimming pools, beaches and
campgrounds and fishing piers;
winter sports facilities;
park roads and paths, parking,
utilities and restrooms; and
(A/E) services necessary for proper design and construction of approved
and Submit your OSLAD / LWCF Application
using the new ONLINE application system. This is a direct submital of
Using Adobe Acrobat Reader
5.0 or above, applications can be completed on a computer and submitted
in paper format. Instructions
are available by clicking here.
tools for Adobe PDF documents are available that allow visually disabled
users to read documents in Adobe PDF format. These tools convert PDF
documents into either HTML or ASCII text which can then be read by
many screen reading programs. These tools can be downloaded from Adobe
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