2023 Kids Recreation Trust Fund Grant Application

Your Trust Fund Dollars at Work for You!

A Service of the Union County Board of County Commissioners

  • Sergio Granados, Chairman
  • Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded, Vice Chairwoman
  • James E. Baker Jr.
  • Joseph Bodek
  • Dr. Angela R. Garretson
  • Bette Jane Kowalski
  • Lourdes M. Leon
  • Alexander Mirabella
  • Rebecca Williams

2023 Commissioners’ Standing Committee

  • Lourdes M. Leon, Chair
  • James E. Baker Jr.
  • Dr. Angela R. Garretson
  • Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded

Public Advisory Committee Members

  • Richard Capac
  • Maria Carvalho
  • Michael Del Sordi
  • Charles Eke
  • Arthur Kobitz
  • Jim McManus      
  • Edward O’Malley
  • Lisa Palin
  • Janice Siegel


  • Edward T. Oatman, County Manager
  • Amy C. Wagner, Deputy County Manager
  • Victoria Durbin Drake, Trust Fund Administrator
  • Angelica Cedeno, Deputy Trust Fund Administrator
  • Danni Newbury, Administrator Assistant
  • Bruce H. Bergen, Esq., County Counsel
  • Kevin Campbell, Esq., Trust Fund Counsel

Program Timelines and Grant Information

  • The municipality may apply for all or any of the two components of the Kids Recreation Trust Fund grant program.
  • The application period will be limited to 60 calendar days, commencing on June 30, 2023 and concluding on August 30, 2023.
  • The review and selection period will follow, and award notification will occur within 45 days of the deadline submission. Grant projects accepted will receive verbal notification and a written grant commitment in the form of a letter from the Office of the Trust Fund.
  • Projects will be chosen based on need, scope and population served.
  • Part II of this grant program must be matched dollar for dollar by the municipality. All matching funds must be specifically related to the proposed project.
  • Matching dollar may come from various sources such as in-kind services, municipal budget, donor, State of New Jersey Green Acres grant or other federal and state aid. These sources must be listed on the original grant application to qualify as matching funds.
  • Grantees must adhere to the proposed project timelines. The grant period commences when the Office of the Trust Fund and the Union County Law Department executes the contracts. You will be notified of your specific date obligations.
  • All applications will be reviewed by the Union County Open Space, Recreation & Historic Preservation Trust Fund Public Advisory Committee, and are subject to final approval by the Commissioners’ Standing Committee in addition to a vote by the full body of the Union County Board of County Commissioners.
  • Grantees shall have a period of 24 months from the time of the award of the grant to complete the grant project. This timeline may be extended at the sole discretion of the Trust Administrator where unforeseen/extenuating circumstances are shown
  • No additional grant applications will be considered where a Grantee has failed to follow guidelines for outstanding grants.

Part 1 – Discover our Parks

  • Up to 50 children (one bus) can be accommodated at each visit.
  • It is anticipated that participants will be elementary age students.
  • Depending on the program selected, participants may be divided into two groups.  If necessary the group division will be based on age, i.e. older & younger, so as to teach at the participant’s level when necessary.
  • The program time schedule will be as follows:
    • Bus to leave starting point to arrive at first facility by 10:00 AM
    • 10:00 – 11:30 AM – participate in morning activity
    • 11:30 AM – 12:45 PM – travel & lunch
      • A picnic lunch location will be planned in advance based on program/facility selections. The bus will transport participants to their afternoon location
    • Arrive at second facility by 1:00 PM
    • 1:00 – 2:30 PM – participate in afternoon activity
    • 2:30 – 2:45PM – load bus and depart for home.

Facility Activities & Program Choices:

Trailside Nature & Science Center (Half or Full Day)

  • A group may select one program for a half day or two programs for a full day. Programs will follow the time frame outlined above
  • Trailside will offer the following program choices. Programs can be modified to accommodate varying age groups.
  • Snakes & Turtles
  • Reptiles of NJ
  • Animal Neighbors
  • Museum Tour
  • Seasonal Walk
  • Lenape

Galloping Hill Golf Course Driving Range (Half Day Only)

  • Groups selecting Galloping Hill Golf Course Driving Range will learn to hit golf balls with the pro.

Ash Brook Golf Course Pitch & Putt Range

  • Groups selecting this option play a game of par 3 Pitch & Putt

Watchung Stable (half day only)

  • Groups selecting Watchung Stable will take a barn tour and participate in a “Learn About Horses” clinic.

Part II – Recreational Improvements


The Union County Board of County Commissioners is allocating up to $1,000,000.00 in matching grant dollars for the creation, enhancement, and/or replacement of recreational facilities in the municipality.

The Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund Public Advisory Committee, and the Commissioners’ Standing Committee on Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation will review applications that follow the procedures below:


  • Request cannot exceed 50% of the total project cost.
  • Staff or volunteer salaries are not eligible.
  • All submissions must demonstrate how recreational opportunities will be increased, enhanced or expanded by this grant offering.

Conditions of Award

  • All recipients of grant dollars will be required to post signage indicating “Kids Recreation Trust Fund” Grant Program, A Service of the Union County Board of County Commissioners.  “Your Trust Fund Dollars at Work for You!”  Signage will be designed and installed by Union County’s Bureau of Traffic and Maintenance.
  • All grant receipts are required to notify the Office of Open Space Trust Fund of any ribbon cutting ceremonies and extend an invitation to the Union County Board of County Commissioners.
  • Joint applications must be fully executed between each party for a stipulated time frame designated in the grant application and approved by the Public Advisory Committee as well as the Commissioners’ Standing Committee.  Copies of the agreement between parties must be provided to the Trust Fund Administrator upon awarding of grant dollars.
  • All recipients will be subject to monitoring visits by the Office of the Trust Fund staff.
  • All grant recipients shall be required to enter into an agreement prepared by the Union County Law Department. Said agreement shall provide that all funding provided through this grant shall be dedicated to the creation, enhancement and/or replacement of recreational opportunities, and must be consistent with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Green Acres program rules and regulations as well as local and state building codes and ordinances.
  • Should it be determined by the County that the funds granted pursuant to this agreement are not being so dedicated by the applicant, and then in that event, the County will require reimbursement of all amounts so granted. This provision applies to any present or future violations.

Grant Application Checklist

The following items should accompany the application:

  • A resolution authorized by the governing body and the mayor, approving the grant application and commitment of matching dollars for the proposed project. (return by postal mail)
  • A completed grant application form. (complete online)
  • A letter of financial commitment from the Chief Financial Officer, or equivalent, indicating that matching funds are available for said project prior to grant dollars being awarded. (return by postal mail)

Application Links