Public Info

Union County Libraries Can Now Apply for COVID Funding Through the CARES Act

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that it is now accepting applications from municipal libraries for 2020 Union County Library Grant awards. Letters were mailed out to all 20 municipal libraries last week, and applications must be submitted to the office of Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund by September 18, 2020.

“Union County libraries are a major resource and learning tool in our communities that must be supported throughout COVID-19 and beyond,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “I am pleased that we can provide additional resources to libraries throughout the County through CARES Act funding.”

The 2020 Library Grant funds were voted on and approved during the August 13 Freeholder Board meeting.

This year’s grants are funded by the CARES Act through the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

A total of $500,000 will be made available for approved submissions to be used by libraries for programming and purchases directly related to needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This funding will allow libraries to adapt during these uncertain circumstances while continuing to cultivate the minds of residents of all ages,” said Freeholder Christopher Hudak, who is the Chairman of the Open Space Trust Fund Board.

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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