Itasca Park District gets $375,000 Capital Museum Grant from Illinois Department of Natural Resources

  • A grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will go toward improvements at the Springbrook Nature Center in Itasca.

    A grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will go toward improvements at the Springbrook Nature Center in Itasca. Courtesy of Christine Powles

Updated 4/8/2022 9:57 PM

Itasca Park District received confirmation from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for a $375,000 Capital Museum Grant that was submitted in July 2021 for the Springbrook Nature Center.

The Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, is open to any museum operated by local government or located on municipally owned land.


Itasca Park District is one of seven other DuPage County government agencies that have been awarded the grant in March 2022. The Springbrook Nature Center is located at 130 Forest Ave. in Itasca.

It is currently one of the heaviest used parks and facilities within the Village of Itasca and surrounding communities.

In April 2021, the newly renovated Springbrook Nature Center opened with animal and nature play exhibits inside.

The renovation was partially founded with a $335,000 Capital Museum Grant.

The facility also includes classrooms, restrooms and is home to Wings & Talons, a nonprofit organization.

The land includes two miles of trails, 700-foot-long board walk, Springbrook Creek, an arboretum, wetlands, prairie grass fields, shady woods and flower-filled meadows.

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Outside the facility you will also find 10 resident raptors: gyrfalcon, red-tailed hawks, turkey vulture, barn owl, barred owl, kestrel, and screech owl in their mews.

The current grant that has been awarded will include improvements for: new exterior interpretive signage for the birds of prey mews, new roofs for the bird mews, two new hands-on interactive displays focused on creek, woodland, wetland and prairies, new birds of prey interactive exhibit, two boardwalk section replacements, new side entrance signage and replacement of the entrance sign.

Total projected budget will be $550,000 with the grant covering $375,000 with funding supported by the Village of Itasca $100,000, Itasca Park District $50,000, and other local private and community groups providing $25,000.

"This grant will help to offset improvement costs. We are excited about all the new elements and features that will be added to the Springbrook Nature Center," said Maryfran Leno, executive director of Itasca Park District. "It has also been a great cooperative with the Village of Itasca."

Itasca Park District serves over 8,000 residents in the communities of Itasca and portions of Wood Dale.

Its mission is to efficiently and economically provide education, recreation, facilities and open space that are designed to provide health and wellness, social equity and conservation experiences that benefit the community.

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