February 5, 2014, MAYWOOD || Michael Romain
The Maywood Park District is seeking to raise $100,000 to be matched by a State grant made possible by a bill that was signed into law in August of last year. The legislation, which was introduced by Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch in the Illinois House and Sen. Kimberly Lightford in the Senate, is designed to provide funding specifically for distressed park districts.
“This grant will improve local neighborhoods and help provide families with more opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities,” Rep. Welch said. “Many local governments struggle to complete projects due to shrinking budgets. This will help to relieve some of the financial pressures and ensure that all children have a place to exercise and utilize open space.”
According to a statement released by Rep. Welch’s office, “Senate Bill 1341 […] expands financially-challenged municipalities’ access to grants for public park projects such as picnic and playground facilities, outdoor nature interpretive facilities, sports facilities, campgrounds and park roads. Welch’s measure requires the Department of Natural Resources to provide distressed local governments with Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grants for up to 90 percent of the total cost of a project. Previously, these grants could only be used to cover 50 percent of a project’s cost.”
The Maywood Park District is hoping to qualify for this new funding by launching a comprehensive campaign to raise $100,000. As part of the grant, the State will match $9 for every $1 (hence the name, Operation 90/10) the park district raises, bringing the District’s ultimate funding target to $1 million.
With the money, the Park District hopes to finish the renovations of the 809 Building and expand its array of programming. It’s currently seeking citizens to volunteer in a variety of capacities, including finance, marketing, operations, human resources and grant management. All willing volunteers will be requested to meet once a week for an hour at the Park District’s headquarters (921 S. Ninth Avenue, Maywood IL).
The second 90/10 meeting is set to occur tonight at 5:30 at 921 S. Ninth Avenue. For more information, contact LaSondra Banks, Program Director, at (708) 344-4740. VFP