District awarded state grant for Lawler Park

March 2, 2023 09:00 AM

As part of a state matching grant, the Skokie Park District will receive $357,000 for its upcoming Lawler Park project. Renovations and additions to the park will be a new teqball area; new playground equipment, including a 65-foot zip line; outdoor exercise equipment; an open-sided picnic shelter; native prairie plantings; a nature trail with educational signing; and repairs to the existing park path. 

Governor JB Pritzker along with state and local leaders and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) this week announced nearly $60 million in state grants are being awarded for 118 local park projects throughout Illinois to help communities acquire land and develop recreational opportunities. The grants represent the largest round of Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grants in the 36-year history of the program, which was designed to help communities fund land acquisition and development for parks and outdoor recreation projects.

After Skokie residents gave valuable feedback at a public hearing in September, district officials now have a solid plan for the park's renovation. 

"We are incredibly excited to receive this grant," said the district's Executive Director Michelle Tuft. "What began as somewhat modest project can now be enhanced to fulfill a much bigger wish list for Lawler Park."

The project will begin late this fall and is expected to be completed in the summer of 2024.

Peter Murphy, President & CEO of the Illinois Association of Park Districts said, "There is an overwhelming demand for these projects, and today's state grants will once again enable local parks to make Illinois a better place to live, work, and play."

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