Northbrook Park District has been awarded a $400,000 Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) Grant by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) for renovations to Oaklane Park.
Located at 636 Berglund Place, Northbrook, the 2.46 acre parcel was acquired by the Park District in 1984. Current amenities at the park include a playground built in 1999 which is past its useful life, two tennis courts installed prior to that date that are in need of significant repair, and an open field. The $400,000 matching grant from the State of Illinois will be applied to renovations at the park. Current plans include:
- Conversion of the two tennis courts to one tennis court and two pickleball courts with new fencing
- Replacement of both the 2-5 year old and 5-12 year old play structures
- Reconfiguration of the swing area to include an accessible path to the transfer swing
- New 20’X20’ picnic shelter and game tables
- The addition of a .2 mile trail loop around the park perimeter
- New benches, recycling/trash receptacles and bike rack
- Installation of native plantings, seeding, sodding, a butterfly garden and interpretive signage
Executive Director Molly Hamer is excited the District can proceed with this project to provide needed amenities to the community. “Through the Comprehensive Master Planning process, the area surrounding Oaklane Park has been identified as an under resourced section of the Park District,” she said. “This project has been on the District’s Capital Improvement Plan for several years. This park renovation will provide new and improved recreation opportunities for our residents and we are grateful to have been selected for this $400,000 matching grant.”
In 2019, the District started the community input process for improvements at Oaklane Park. An initial survey was made available to residents, concepts for the park were developed, and a community Open House was hosted at the park in August of that year to gather additional input from neighbors. The project was deferred in 2020 following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In summer 2021, the District worked with Hitchcock Design Group to apply to IDNR for a FY22 OSLAD grant.
Next steps for this project include signing contracts with IDNR and then going out for competitive construction bids for the project. Following these actions, the District hopes to break ground on the project in Spring 2023.
The OSLAD program began in 1987 and has invested $433.5 million in 1,816 local park projects. The program receives dedicated funding from a percentage of the state’s Real Estate Transfer Tax. Northbrook Park District’s Oaklane Park is one of 87 park projects across the state of Illinois to receive a portion of the FY22 OSLAD grant funding of $30.3 million.
Established in 1927, Northbrook Park District’s Mission is to enhance the community by providing outstanding services, parks and facilities through environmental, social and financial stewardship.