Park Playground 2


SPRINGFIELD – The Urbana Park District is among the 118 recipients of Open Space Land Acquisition and Development grants distributed through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, State Senator Paul Faraci announced Thursday.

“Investment in our parks and recreation not only enhances community engagement, it promotes physical and mental health,” said Faraci (D-Champaign). “This state money will have major positive impact on accessibility for more families.”

A total of $60 million in state grants are being awarded 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 grants in the 36-year history of the program.

The Urbana Park Districts plans to use the OSLAD grant to help build a new Meadowbrook Park Playground. The park district anticipates the playground will be removed this winter with new construction beginning in 2024.  The park district will help those wishing to reclaim the "Helping Hands" concrete pavers around the perimeter of the playground. Anyone wishing to do so should call 217-344-9583 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

“This $550,000 grant is tremendously impactful for Urbana. The playground has always been an important play destination, and the next Meadowbrook Playground has been designed by the community for the community,” said Kara Dudek-Mizel, Park Planner. “In 2021-2022, the planning process included over 2,560 engagements via surveys, virtual meetings, open-houses, special events, special recreation engagement, and collaborating with kids in Urbana. With the award of the OSLAD grant, we are excited to begin final design engineering, bidding and construction. I am most excited for the increased physical, mental, social, emotional, and sensory play opportunities, as well as the accessibility and inclusion this project will bring for children and caregivers.”