Loans and grants

Parks make progress – Forest Park Review

The welcome partnership between the Park District of Forest Park and West Suburban Special Recreation Association (WSSRA) has paid a handsome dividend with receipt of a $2.5 million grant from the state of Illinois to help fund construction of a new park district facility on Harrison Street. 

That money will fund approximately a third of the total cost of the facility. Jackie Iovinelli, executive director at the park district, credited State Senate President Don Harmon with securing the grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development. And she told the park board last week, more grant money will be actively pursued once the parks and WSSRA wrap up a more formal pact in the near future.

The park district and WSSRA have been working on this partnership from the start of discussions about this expansion on the south side of Harrison — opposite the district’s longtime main park campus. It is a natural and positive partnership. Forest Park is already a longtime member of WSSRA, a co-op of 13 members which pools resources to organize programs and activities for residents with disabilities. The co-op is happy to shift its offices to Forest Park as it sits more centrally among its members. Right now it’s Franklin Park.

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