They’re not dead yet. The Park District of Forest Park is still a viable candidate for two state grants applied for last month, said Director Larry Piekarz. 

When word spread that the park district of neighboring  Oak Park had received a grant from  OSLAD (Open Space Land Acquisition and Development) from the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources to remake Maple Park, Forest Parkers were disappointed.

No need to be worried, Piekarz clarified. 

“Those were last year’s grants, and we weren’t even in the running for those,” Piekarz said. “I’ve gotten about 100 calls asking why didn’t we win the grants,” Piekarz said. “We didn’t even apply for those.” 

The park district applied for two grants from the Illinois DNR last month. Grant awards won’t be decided until the fall for the PARC (Parks and Recreation Facility Construction) grant. The park district also applied for an OSLAD grant to landscape and design the grounds of the park district facility being, hopefully, built next year, Piekarz said.

Through PARC, the park district is hoping to receive up to 75 percent of a new facility’s costs in matching funds from the state. That grant is announced in October, “right before Election Day,” Piekarz said. Up to $200,000 is available through for designing facilities from OSLAD. Piekarz said that grant won’t be available until next spring.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...