- Associated Press - Sunday, April 6, 2014

LA GRANGE PARK, Ill. (AP) - The state of Illinois will spend $16.5 million for improvements to local parks and open space projects.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the funding Saturday during an event at Memorial Park in the Chicago suburb of La Grange Park.

The money comes from Illinois’ Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development program. It’s funded through the state’s real estate transfer tax, which is imposed on every Illinois property sale.

The $16.5 million will go toward projects in 21 Illinois counties. Local governments must contribute at least half of the project’s total cost.

Quinn says parks help make Illinois a great place to live. The Chicago Democrat also says the money will allow more families to get outdoors and promote healthy lifestyles.