Parks, forest preserves, and playgrounds across the state are about to see a big boost.
Nearly $30 million dollars is on its way to park districts, forest preserves, and cities or towns across the state of Illinois.
The Illinois Department of Resources says the money will be split between 89 parks in the state.
The grants are, in some cases, the only way communities could pay for park upgrades, said Ed Cross, a spokesman for the department.
“These grants will help a number of projects that may not have been doable otherwise,” Cross said. “It’s a reimbursement program that will go to over 80 communities across the state that are looking to do some pretty incredible work.”
Cross said the money comes from the state’s cut of Illinois’ real estate transfer tax.
“This is one of those things that people can kinda see a little bit of return on investment in the state as well,” Cross said.
The Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program has been sending that money to local parks since 1987.
Cross said when this year’s state contribution is combined with local dollars, almost $60 million will be spent on parks under the program.
Many of the communities receiving a grant are using the money to buy land to expand parks. Others are using the money for upgrades to existing green spaces.