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April 25, 2000

Ryan Announces $2 Million In Illinois First Funds For The Village Of Glen Ellyn


GLEN ELLYN - Governor George H. Ryan today announced the release of $2 million in Illinois FIRST and Open Lands Trust funds to the village of Glen Ellyn to help acquire 25 acres of open space in the community.

"Communities such as Glen Ellyn are working hard to preserve park areas and provide recreational opportunities to their residents, but they can’t do it alone," Ryan said. "The investment of Illinois FIRST funds demonstrates the state’s commitment to open space in the heavily developed areas in northeastern Illinois."

At an event at the Maryknoll Seminary grounds, Governor Ryan joined State Rep. Vince Persico, R- Glen Ellyn, and local officials for the announcement.

Through the Illinois FIRST program and the Open Lands Trust Fund, the state will provide $2 million for the village of Glen Ellyn to acquire the Maryknoll Seminary property, 25-acres and the last large tract of open space in Glen Ellyn. The property cost $5.3 million to acquire.

The Glen Ellyn Park District intends to demolish an abandoned seminary building on the property to make way for a community park. The district intends to preserve another building on the grounds. Future proposed development at the site includes football, softball and soccer fields, a jogging path, tennis courts and a playground. There also is a beautiful stand of oak trees on the property that will be preserved with the area designated for passive recreation.

"For years, local governments throughout Illinois have been unable to come up with enough money to preserve the prairies, forests and wetlands of this state. The state is going to be more of an active partner in the drive to preserve and save open space and recreational land."

Illinois ranks 48th - nearly last among the states in the amount of land held in public trust for its residents. The Illinois FIRST program combined with his $160 million Open Land Trust Program dedicates funds to protect open space, natural areas, wildlife habitat, watersheds and greenways and to increase outdoor recreational activities. This is the second year of funding for the program, which includes $40 million in the Fiscal Year 2001 budget.


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