Crystal Lake Park District Awarded $600,000 Open Space Land Acquisition and Development Grant for Development of Park on Haligus Road

Tue March 7, 2023

Governor JB Pritzker along with state and local leaders and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently announced nearly $60 million in state grant awards for 118 local park projects throughout Illinois to help communities acquire land and develop recreational opportunities. The grants represent the largest round of Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grants in the 36-year history of the program, which was designed to help communities fund land acquisition and development for parks and outdoor recreation projects. Established by the Illinois General Assembly in 1986, OSLAD has become one of the most popular grant programs in Illinois. In that time, OSLAD has awarded more than $530 million for park projects throughout the state, including the awards announced last week.

Included in the OSLAD awards was a grant of $600,000 to the Crystal Lake Park District for the development of a new park on Haligus road in an underserved area of the Crystal Lake Park District. The park site is 10 acres in size and located just south of the Village of Lakewood Public Works facility on Haligus Road. The Village of Lakewood donated the land to the Park District for developing the community park.  The Crystal Lake Park District worked with Hitchcock Design to develop the master plan for this Park site.  Many Crystal Lake Park District residents attended community meetings to review and provide input on the conceptual design ideas that Hitchcock developed for the park site.

The designed park proposes many exciting features which may include pickleball courts, a splash pad and playground, demonstration garden, a shelter, restroom building, an outer loop walking path with seating nodes, a soccer field, basketball court and paved parking.  A walking path will surround the park and run along the Kishwaukee River.   The design layout for the park will be finalized in the upcoming months with the goal toward a fall 2023 ground-breaking to construct the park.  Additional community input will be sought as we dive deeper in final design for the splash pad and playground features.