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H-F Park District using grants to supplement costs

Homewood-Flossmoor Park District’s grant administrator has been having some success at finding money to help underwrite programs and park initiatives.
Janet Drew, a 17-year employee who works in the finance department, took on the grant administrator position in 2016. 
The latest example of her efforts was a $2,500 grant from United States Tennis Association for the summer tennis program that was incorporated into the park district’s Stomping Grounds summer camp. The tennis program was a joint effort between the park district’s recreation department and the H-F Racquet & Fitness Club.
The district got a $5,000 matching grant from ExoFit Outdoor Fitness. The park district was able to get three outdoor fitness equipment pieces for Goldberg Park by agreeing to pay $2,500 as its share. 
“By adding outdoor fitness equipment in our parks, the district is promoting wellness and exercise in an outdoor setting.  With no membership fee, open 24/7 and accessible to everyone, it is a win for the community,” Drew reported to the board in November 2016 when she learned of the ExoFit grant.
In spring, the park district was awarded a $1,500 grant from Illinois Energy Now for the park district’s efforts at energy efficiency. It replaced lights in the parking lots at Lions Club Pool and Goldberg Park with LED lighting. The grant is based on the savings calculated on the wattage difference between the old and new lights. 
And the first grant Drew got for the parks was a $7,770 Great Lakes EAB Restoration Grant through the Morton Arboretum. The park district was hit hard by the ash borer blight that infected more than 350 ash trees. This grant allowed the park district to plant 22 native trees. It has a three-year life so that the park district can report back on the survivability of the gingko and hornbean trees it’s planted, Drew said.
In 2015, the park district was awarded a $10,000 grant from the ComEd Green Regions Program to help with the redesign of wetlands restoration for the pond at Irons Oaks.

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