Union County, NJ – The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that matching grants have been distributed to 19 municipalities for upgrades to playgrounds and youth athletic facilities through the Kids Recreation Trust Fund. Fourteen municipalities also received matching grants for street trees under the Greening Union County program.
Funding for both programs is provided by the Union County Open Space, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.
“These matching grants enable municipalities to keep their recreational facilities up-to-date, and to maintain attractive treescapes that help filter dust and pollutants in local neighborhoods,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. “It is a real pleasure to see the Open Space Trust Fund continue to benefit communities throughout Union County.”
Kids Recreation grants can be used for upgrading municipal parks and recreational facilities. Examples include playground enhancements, renovating baseball fields, resurfacing basketball courts, and safety upgrades.
Greening Union County grant funds are used for purchasing, planting, or maintaining trees on local streets and other municipal properties.
“Together, these two grant programs provide municipal policymakers with more opportunities to enhance their neighborhoods and make improvements in a timely manner, helping to meet the needs of their communities for years to come,” said Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski, who is Chairman of the Open Space Trust Fund Board.
The Union County Open Space, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund were established by popular referendum in 2000, and began operating in 2001. Since then, it has made more than $17 million in matching grants available to municipalities for local projects.
In addition, the Open Space Trust Fund has enabled the County to acquire more than 300 acres for public recreation, and to upgrade County facilities.
One recent example of the Open Space Trust Fund at work is Snyder Avenue Park in Berkeley Heights. This former industrial site was sought after by developers for housing, but local residents strongly supported a new County park on the site. The facilities now include a turfed and lighted multi-purpose field, a baseball field and a playground with water features.
The 2016 matching grants for the Kids Recreation and Greening Union County programs totaled $1.1 million.
2016 Kids Recreation Grants
2016 Greening Union County Grants
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