MAHOMET, Ill., (WCIA) — For weeks, the Champaign County Forest Preserve District (CCFPD) has been asking people what changes they want to see at parks.

Now, thanks to a $60 million dollar grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the district will be able to make improvements.

Bridgette Moen, the planning director with CCFPD, said they’ll spend the $400,000 they were awarded at the Buffalo Trace Prairie in Mahomet. It’s across the street from the Museum of the Grand Prairie at Lake of the Woods.

She said the grant is more important now than ever. It will help fix spaces that she calls “well-loved.”

“We are going to renovate an existing trail that is well loved but is in really really huge need of an update, it’s kind of falling apart,” Moen said. “We will be renovating the trail and adding some really nice amenities like exercise stations along the trail.”

Moen said the Buffalo Trace area is one of the most visited sites in Champaign County.

“This trail was built about 20 years ago and over the years, it’s really started to degrade,” Moen added. “Without the support of grants like these from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, it’s super difficult for us to have enough cash to make huge improvements like this at one time.”

She said the money earned from the grant will support half of the project. They’re going to work from their capital budget with their foundation team for the rest.

They plan to start construction in 2024.

For a full list of the groups awarded money from the grant, click here.