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  • Megann Horstead

State grant to help fund new park in New Lenox


The New Lenox Park District has netted state grant funding to help fund a new park on the village’s south side featuring fitness courses, tennis courts and a permanent shelter.


Construction of Sky Harbor Park is expected to begin the spring of 2021.


The park district was notified earlier this year that it is a recipient of funding through the state of Illinois’ Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grant program.


“We think that the reason we’ve received this grant is it’s a very unique and different park,” said Becky Tilton, recreation supervisor of marketing and public relations for the park district.


The park’s proposed fitness courses are inspired by NBC’s “American Ninja Warrior,” Tilton said, which would be a new offering in the district.


Tilton said the fitness courses will be tailored to challenge those of different ages.


“We’re really happy to offer that to the community,” she said.


The grant will begin the spring of 2021, and it will provide $400,000 in funding toward the approximately $1 million cost to construct the park off Laraway Road.


“It’ll cover around 4 acres,” Tilton said. “A lot of our other parks are a lot smaller than that.”


The park district intends to use its own funds to pay for the remainder of the project, officials said.


Tilton credited the work of state legislators in Springfield for awarding an OSLAD grant to the park district for the 12thtime.


“They’re the ones that negotiate how many park districts throughout the state of Illinois receive this grant,” she said.


A number of park districts around the state also received funding made available through the OSLAD grant program, officials said.


Tilton said the park district believes many residents will enjoy the park once it’s built.


“We have a lot of newer subdivisions that are being built on the south side of town,” she said. “It’ll be easily accessible. We’ll have parking. People can walk there.”

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