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Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development
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Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD)



The OSLAD Grant program was established by the Illinois General Assembly in 1986 as a result of the IAPD's legislative advocacy efforts to provide financial assistance to local government agencies for the acquisition and development of land for public parks and open space.

The program matches funds provided by park districts, municipalities, forest preserve districts and other local government entities, providing up to 50% of the funding.

OSLAD is funded by non-General Revenue Fund (non-GRF) dollars dedicated through a portion of the real estate transfer tax. Of every dollar collected through the real estate transfer tax, 50 cents goes for OSLAD and the Natural Areas Acquisition Fund (NAAF) and 50 cents goes into a fund for affordable housing.

The bulk of the OSLAD money is used to provide grants to park districts, forest preserves and city parks throughout Illinois to acquire open space and to develop and improve park facilities. The rest supports the protection, management and restoration of natural areas and high quality wildlife habitats and highly trained conservation staff who maintain this investment. Nearly every county — 94 of 102 in Illinois — has received OSLAD grants.

Grant awards up to $750,000 are available for acquisition projects, while development/renovation projects are limited to a $400,000 grant maximum.


Over the past 25 years $273,768,476.00 has been awarded to local communities throughout Illinois. The amount of awards has varied from year to year based upon land transfers. Click here for a yearly history of the amount awarded.

Investments in OSLAD Pay Huge Dividend

For more than 25 years OSLAD has remained one of the most popular and successful programs the State has administered. This is due in large part to the significant return the State of Illinois gets for its investment. In fact, because local communities must provide at least half of the funding for OSLAD projects the State is guaranteed a 100% return or "twice the bang for its buck?”

In addition, OSLAD:

· Creates jobs
· Stimulates the economy
· Reduces health care costs
· Reduces crime
· Mitigates flooding
· Improves air quality
· Improves water quality

Past Projects

2012 Award List
2011 Award List

Important Links

IDNR Application
Administrative Rules
State Statute
Current Revenues
Current Expenditures