The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) today announced applications will be accepted for grants through the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant programs beginning July 1, 2019. The OSLAD program is a state-financed grant program that provides funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and/or development of land for public outdoor recreation areas. OSLAD is a matching program that provides an advance payment (for development projects only) that is 50 percent of the grant award amount shortly after the grant agreement is executed. The local agency must demonstrate and possess the ability to finance the remaining costs of an approved project prior to receipt of remaining grant funds. This program is funded through a percentage of the state’s Real Estate Transfer Tax. The LWCF is a program that utilizes federal dollars to acquire land to be used for outdoor recreation. This program provides up to 50 percent of the certified market value of property acquired to be developed into outdoor recreation areas. No advance payment is allowed on acquisition projects. LWCF is funded nationally by revenue from offshore oil and gas leases. Both programs are managed by the IDNR with concurrent application due dates, equal grant maximums and similar general rules. The application period will open July 1 and applications must be submitted to the IDNR by 5:00 p.m. August 19, 2019. The Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found at https://www.illinois.gov/sites/gata/Pages/default.aspx.