How Woodstock Will Spend $600,000 State Recreational Grant

Fromthe City of Woodstock:


Woodstock, IL March 2, 2023—The City of Woodstock has been awarded $600,000 through Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Open Space Land Acquisition & Development (OSLAD) program for the planned Nature’s Way: A Playground of Possibilities project. 

IDNR’s FY 2023 program funded 118 outdoor recreation projects throughout the state, including four other projects in McHenry County.

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds were made available to municipalities throughout the country last year in response to the economic losses felt by cities during the extended pandemic experience. 

The City of Woodstock surveyed the community to determine suggested uses for this funding and one of the most popular public service requests was enhanced amenities related to parks and recreation.

The City of Woodstock has been an active participant in the Age-Friendly Livable Communities planning program since 2019. 

There are currently 10 other Illinois communities, and over 720 cities nationally, working to review and modify policies and programs to better serve the rapidly increasing demographic of people age 65 and above. 

By 2035, there will be more people age 65 and over, than children younger than 18, for the first time in US history.

Planning activities and programs with an intergenerational focus is an effective way to address this unprecedented societal shift. 

Woodstock’s project offers a half-acre of poured rubber mobility surfacing; colorful equipment for climbing, swinging and spinning; along with sensory and quiet space elements. 

The equipment offers both group and individual play and encourages independence and collaboration for ages 2-12. 

In addition, the design incorporates a section of low-impact exercise equipment, a bench swing, permanent game table, shade and picnic area, to accommodate older residents and family outings.

Following a public presentation in February 2022, Woodstock City Council allocated $400,000 to the proposed project and added $100,000 in the budget process for 2023. 

The Community Foundation for McHenry County supported the project with a gift of $75,000 and hosts a tax-deductible on-line donation site at   

While the OSLAD $600,000 grant funding moves the project forward, additional resources will be needed to complete the entire project; a public campaign is planned for the months ahead.


How Woodstock Will Spend $600,000 State Recreational Grant — 7 Comments

  1. Meanwhile people are homeless, don’t have enough food or medical help and food, taxes and everything else is out of control.

    Hey, but seems to make a ton of sense to spend a ton of money on a playground.

  2. SMG

    “Meanwhile people are homeless, don’t have enough food or medical help and food, taxes and everything else is out of control.”

    How many homeless people have you taken in or cared for?

    You always seem to preach your faith, but do you actually live it?

  3. We have plenty of programs in this town, county and state to take care of the “social programs” you speak of, they are all fraught with horrible rates of fraud; especially SNAP in my opinion.

    Why not spend these monies on innocent kids to help them develop into independent adults?

    It will also make our town more attractive to new or prospective taxpaying workers, increase home values and the higher property tax revenues to help pay for the social programs you are concerned about.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.