RPC Helps Village of Fisher Secure Funding for Park Upgrades

The existing Village Park in Fisher

Through a grant from the state of Illinois, the Village of Fisher in Champaign County will soon be redeveloping the playground and adding new features at its village park. The RPC was instrumental in the grant being awarded, having been hired by the village to write the grant application during the summer of 2021. Governor Pritzker announced the grants in July—$30.3 million going to fund 87 local park projects throughout Illinois.

“Working with the RPC was very helpful, and we couldn’t have done this grant without their knowledge of the process,” Fisher Mayor Michael Bayler expressed. “Working with Gabe Lewis (an RPC planner who was the lead on the grant application) was a pleasure as his knowledge in grant writing was a tremendous plus for our community. Gabe made sure we had everything we needed to not only qualify for the grant, but to also receive one. We look forward to working with him and the RPC in the future when applying for other grants.”

The grants are through the state’s Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, designed to help communities acquire open space and develop and improve recreational facilities. The Fisher Village Park will soon have a new playground, splash pad, shelter, benches, and additional trees, in addition to the basketball court, tennis court, and skate park that currently exist.

“The new playground will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which will benefit kids of all abilities,” comments Lewis. “I’m sure the new splash pad, shelter, and trees will be welcome additions on warm summer days. I remember the joy of new playground equipment being built in my neighborhood growing up, so I am happy that the children of Fisher will have a new playground to enjoy, too.”

“Investments in our local parks are investments in our communities,” Gov. Pritzker said. “Park projects don’t just create jobs and boost local economic development, they open the gateway for a healthier, happier Illinois. Every family in our state deserves nearby access to outdoor public spaces where they can gather with their friends and neighbors—and enjoy some sunshine, too.”

The Village of Fisher is receiving nearly $235,000 in grant funding for the playground redevelopment. The OSLAD program began in 1987 and has invested $433.5 million in 1,816 local park projects.

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