LA GRANGE PARK – The Community Park District of La Grange Park was awarded $400,000 in grants to assist with improvement projects at Memorial Park.
The grant money, awarded by Gov. Pat Quinn on April 5, is a part of the 2014 Open Space Lands and Development program, which funds projects at 46 different park districts across the state.
La Grange Park's $400,000 will go towards an $826,000 project for Memorial Park, according to park district Executive Director Roy Cripe.
"Memorial park is our flagship park," Cripe said. "It's very visible and used by a wide variety of people in town."
The improvements for Memorial Park will involve three main areas, according to Cripe. The first part of the project, at the north side, will soften the landscape, add grass, reorganize the playground equipment and add a wet sand element.
The project's second aspect will replace the park's current building structure with a full size family picnic shelter, along with storage space and indoor restrooms.
Cripe said the park improvements will also add two bacci ball courts, a fitness center with outdoor equipment, will change sidewalks paths along La Grange Road and more.
At this time, the park district is still finalizing a timeline, but hopes to have bids out by fall, which would extend the project into 2015, according to Cripe.
After hosting public hearings and meetings in regards to the construction elements, Cripe said the residents have been very supportive.
"We think [the project] is going to be very positive," Cripe said.
Funding for the OSLAD program – which began in 1986 – is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. In total, this year's OSLAD program awarded about $16.5 million in investments for the park projects throughout Illinois.
La Grange Park's Memorial Park is located at Sherwood Road and Oak Avenue. For more information on the park or improvement projects, contact the park district at 708-354-4580.