Recreation & Conservation

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Recreation and Conservation

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources offers grants to local governments to enhance recreational opportunities and to preserve natural resources through the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Program, Water Conservation Funds, and Illinois Trails Grants Programs. Note, at this time all state-funded IDNR grants have been suspended. The Recreational Trails Grant Program (federally-funded) has not been suspended, but projects will not be awarded until a state budget is adopted.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

A. Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Program (OSLAD) & Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF).

(This program has been suspended until further notice.) 

The OSLAD and LWCF programs provide funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and /or development of land for public parks and open space.

Eligible Activities include: Acquisition of land for new park sites or park expansion, water frontage, nature study, and natural resource preservation.

Development/Renovation of:

  • picnic and playground facilities;
  • outdoor nature interpretive facilities;
  • sports courts and play fields;
  • swimming pools, beaches and bathhouses;
  • campgrounds and fishing piers;
  • winter sports facilities;
  • park roads and paths, parking, utilities and restrooms; and
  • architectural/engineering (A/E) services necessary for proper design and construction of approved project components.

B. Boat Access Area Development Program

(This program has been suspended until further notice.)

The Boat Access Area Development (BAAD) program is a State-financed program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which provides funding assistance to local units of government for the acquisition and/or construction/renovation of approved public boat, including canoe, access areas in Illinois.

C. Illinois Trails Grant Programs which include the following:

  1. Illinois Bicycle Path Program -Applications Due March 1 of each year.
    (This program has been suspended until further notice.)
    This program was created in 1990 to financially assist eligible units of government acquire, construct, and rehabilitate public, non-motorized bicycle paths and directly related support facilities.
  1. Snowmobile Grant Program-Applications due May 1 of each year.
    (This program has been suspended until further notice).
    This program is financed from the registration fees of snowmobiles and provides up to 50% reimbursement of approved facility development/rehabilitation costs and 90% of approved trail corridor land acquisition costs for pubic snowmobile trails and areas in the state.Snowmobile grants are available to local governments and snowmobile clubs and organizations under two different DNR trails grant programs.
  1. Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Grant Program – Applications Due March 1 of each year. (This program has been suspended until further notice).
    Provides financial assistance to government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and other eligible groups or individuals to develop, operate, maintain, and acquire land for OHV parks, trails and trailside facilities that are open and accessible to the public in Illinois and to restore areas damaged by OHV use. The OHV grant program can provide up to 100% funding on approved projects.
  1. Recreational Trails Grant Program (RTP) – Applications Due March 1, 2016. This program is accepting applications. However, grants will not be awarded until the State of Illinois has a budget.
    This is a federal program created through the National Recreational Trails Fund Act (NRTFA). The program provides funding assistance for acquisition, development, rehabilitation, and maintenance of both motorized and non-motorized recreation trails. The RTP provides 80% federal funding assistance on approved projects. There is a $200,000 grant ceiling for non-motorized projects and no maximum grant for acquisition projects and for motorized projects.

 

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