Where parks in DuPage, Kane counties are getting state, federal funds

  • The Itasca Park District plans to use a $400,000 state grant to help with the $3.2 million cost of renovating the 50-year-old bath house at its water park.

    The Itasca Park District plans to use a $400,000 state grant to help with the $3.2 million cost of renovating the 50-year-old bath house at its water park. Courtesy of Itasca Park District

 
 
Updated 1/20/2020 4:55 PM

State and federal money is set to match local funds from 13 governmental agencies that have park and open space projects in DuPage and Kane counties.

Funding awards from the state Open Space Land Acquisition and Development program and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and Recreational Trails Program will benefit park districts, villages and a forest preserve district as they expand and improve outdoor spaces. The amounts coming to projects in DuPage and Kane counties are among $29.7 million in state funding and $3 million in federal funding for recreation projects announced Friday.

 

Here are details on four of the projects.

Itasca bathhouse

Itasca Park District has long wanted to replace its water park's bathhouse because the 50-year-old building is beyond its useful life.

But officials were unable to begin the project last year because the work was going to cost more than the district had to spend.

So they pursued a state grant to help pay for the $3.2 million project and will receive $400,000 from the OSLAD program.

"The timing of the grant is perfect because we are going out to bid next week for this project," Executive Director Maryfran Leno said Monday. "The goal is that the bathhouse will be torn down in August 2020."

The plan calls for the new bathhouse to open in June 2021. The roughly 5,500-square-foot facility will include a 1,200-square-foot program room that can be used year-round.

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"We want to build a new building that will last another 50 years," Leno said. "This will get us up to current standards and where our patrons expect our facilities to be."

Dundee Township

At Hickory Hill Park in Carpentersville, Dundee Township Park District officials plan to use a $363,800 matching grant from the OSLAD program to improve access and attract patrons.

With limited amenities other than an aging baseball field, the park at 770 Navajo Drive doesn't get used as often as park district officials would like, Deputy Director Ross Bertone said.

Planned improvements include a bike repair station, a basketball court, a playground, a picnic shelter and a family fun area that includes cornhole boards. The baseball field will be replaced with free-play soccer areas.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The project also is expected to create a bike path and a walking trail, as well as a new parking lot, to make the park more accessible for nearby residents, Bertone said.

Oak Brook property

A $2.5 million project to create a park at the last large undeveloped open space in Oak Brook is getting a $400,000 boost from the OSLAD grant. The money will combine with $2.1 million left from a tax increase voters approved in 2018 that allowed the district to buy a 34-acre site from McDonald's when the fast-food giant moved its headquarters to Chicago.

Oak Brook Park District Executive Director Laure Kosey said the park will include two soccer fields, two outdoor fitness stations, a central plaza with basketball courts and targets to play cornhole or bags, as well as picnic shelters, walking paths and parking lot improvements. Work is expected to start in June.

South Elgin path

The village of South Elgin is set to receive $99,200 from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund to combine with a local match to help buy the last remaining portion of the Fox River Trail on private land, said Kim Wascher, director of parks and recreation.

The village plans to buy 1.75 acres to open up the path near the intersection of Mill and Center streets, where it is closed and in disrepair, Wascher said. That's why the village looks forward to getting the land on the public rolls to make it accessible.

But "be patient," Wascher warns, as the process of filing paperwork to accept grant funds and closing on the land is expected to take months. Then, the village will need to make repairs such as resurfacing and clearing fallen and overgrown trees.

Other state grants: Downers Grove Park District, $400,000 for McCollum Park; Village of Elburn, $390,900 for Elburn Station Unit 1 Park; Glen Ellyn Park District, $400,000 for Newton Park; Village of Glendale Heights, $400,000 for Camera Park; Village of Hinsdale, $400,000 for community pool redevelopment; Lombard Park District, $400,000 for Four Seasons Park; Roselle Park District, $177,900 for Odlum Park.

Other federal grants: Kane County Forest Preserve District, $750,000 for acquisition of Rutland Bog and surrounding natural areas; Westmont Park District, $137,500 for Fritz Werley Park expansion

• Daily Herald staff writers Robert Sanchez and Lauren Rohr contributed to this report

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