Chicago Heights Park District Lands $600,000 Grant for Park Improvements!

The Chicago Heights Park District is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a substantial $600,000 grant through the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program. This funding will be allocated towards the construction of the city’s first-ever Aquatic Splash Pad, situated at Commissioners Park, and the renovation of adjacent walkways to ensure safe and easy access to play areas.

Established by the Illinois General Assembly in 1986, OSLAD is a vital cost-sharing initiative between state and local governments, aimed at supporting communities in acquiring and developing land for parks and outdoor recreation projects.

This transformative project represents the second phase of a two-part expansion, with the Park District having previously secured financial assistance through another OSLAD grant. The previous funding was directed towards the creation of new soccer fields, provision of lighting for evening play, and installation of spectator seating – all designed to meet the evolving needs and demands of Chicago Heights residents.

Dr. Shari Demitrowicz, Park District Superintendent, expressed the importance of creating innovative and high-quality experiences for the community. “Improving the quality of life for our residents is imperative, bringing hope, a sense of pride, and well-being to all. This project aligns with our commitment to enhancing recreational opportunities in Chicago Heights.”

Commissioners Park, selected as the development site for its central location, ample parking, extensive land resource, and accessibility, will host the new Aquatic Splash Pad. Positioned on the northeast corner of the park near the park house and concessions, the project site encompasses approximately 17,556 square feet. Renovation plans include the installation of a concrete dry-zone area surrounding the splash pad, enclosed by fencing to enhance security.

The chosen freshwater system for the Aquatic Splash Pad ensures optimal water quality, sanitation, and cost-effectiveness. Various nozzles, spray toys, intermittent spraying, squirting, and dumping features will create an inclusive and enjoyable experience for all ages. To ensure safety, a texturized slip-resistant surface will be installed, meeting ADA requirements to ensure accessibility for everyone.

Expressing gratitude for the significant grant, Jessica “Mancina” Mangiaracina, Park District President, stated, “The Chicago Heights Park District is extremely grateful to receive a $600,000 grant to complete phase 2 at Commissioners Park. By upgrading play areas, enhancing outdoor activities for the community, and creating safe and accessible playgrounds, the Park District is revitalizing outdoor play.”

The Chicago Heights Park District looks forward to the positive impact this project will have on the community, fostering a sense of unity, joy, and well-being among residents.