Public Info

Union County 2020 Kids Recreation and UC Grant Programs Now Accepting Applications by Municipalities

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced that $1 million in Kids Recreation matching grants and $100,000 in Greening Union County matching grants are available to municipalities through the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. Letters were mailed out to all 21 municipalities this past week, and applications must be submitted by September 16, 2020.

The Kids Recreation grants can be used to acquire, develop and/or refurbish parks and recreational facilities.  The Greening Union County grant provides funding for municipalities to purchase plant and maintain trees within their towns.  

“The Trust Fund was established almost 20 years ago with the overwhelming support of Union County voters, and it continues to fulfill its mission today,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “Now more than ever before, our public open spaces and recreation resources are of vital importance to the health and well-being of our residents.”

The Open Space Trust fund has provided more than $16 million in matching grants to municipalities since its inception in 2000, to plant trees and build or improve playgrounds, pocket parks, recreational areas, playing fields, pools, picnic areas and more.

More than 300 acres of open space land have also been preserved from development and added to the Union County park system through the trust fund.

“Open Space funding furthers Union County’s mission to create healthy opportunities for children to learn and play,” said Freeholder Christopher Hudak, who is the Chairman of the Open Space Trust Fund Board. “These projects enrich our lives and serve as our legacy to future generations.”

The Open Space Trust Fund was established by popular referendum in 2000, with an initial focus on expanding and improving Union County parks. 

In 2004 the mission of the Trust Fund was broadened to include Kids Recreation annual matching grants to municipalities for improving local children’s recreation resources, as well as annual Greening Union County “tree for tree” matching grants to plant trees on municipal properties.

The Trust Fund also includes grants from the Preserve Union County program, which provides funding to municipalities and non-profit organizations for historic preservation projects.

For information on both programs, contact Victoria Durbin Drake of the Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund at 908-558-2278. 

For more information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including guidance for using the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University and a list of locations for walk-up tests, visit

For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance with questions, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at

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