Tag: space

Union County Provides Open Space Grants for Recreation, Trees

This post was contributed by a community member. The views expressed here are the author’s own.

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that grants have been awarded to 19 municipalities for improvements to recreation resources for children, through the Kid’s Recreation Trust Fund. In addition, 14 municipalities were awarded matching grants for planting new trees through the Greening Union County program. Both grant programs are funded through the Union County Open Space, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Trust Fund.

“Since first established in 2000, the Open Space Trust Fund has enabled Union County residents of all ages to enjoy continued improvements in public recreation resources and local treescapes, in addition to historic preservation projects,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “The Freeholder Board is very proud to carry on this mission as the Trust Fund attains its 20th year of service to the public.”

The Open Space Trust Fund was established by popular referendum in 2000, with an initial focus on preserving open space and improving the Union County park system. In 2004 the mission expanded to include annual matching grants to municipalities for improving local children’s recreation resources, and matching grants to encourage municipalities to plant new trees.

Since its inception in 2004, the Kids Recreation Trust Fund has provided local communities with almost $18.7 million in funding.

The following municipalities received grants from the 2020 round of the Kids Recreation Trust Fund:

  • Berkeley Heights: $50,000 to install new play area at the new municipal complex 29 Park Avenue, and to resurface tennis courts and bleacher pad at Columbia Middle School Softball field.. As part of the Columbia project, PAL will add gates to dugout fencing.
  • Clark: $16,029 for improvements to the Nelson and Dolan Girls Softball fields and facilities, and for replacing the flooring the Senior Fitness Center.
  • Cranford: $65,000 for renovation of indoor tennis court, upgrades to the Memorial and Centennial Avenue Pool, and resurfacing of basketball courts at the Adams, Buchanan, and Johnson parks.
  • Elizabeth: $115,000 for ADA compliant improvements to the Kellogg Park playground.
  • Fanwood: $40,000 for Master Plans to improve Forest Road Park.
  • Garwood: $3,362 for a deep clean of the turf field at the Garwood Sports and Recreation Complex, and for the purchase of field hockey goals.
  • Kenilworth: $75,000 for removal and remediation of asbestos tile in the recreation building, and for removal of tennis courts.
  • Linden: $70,000 for reconstruction of the tennis courts at Dr. Martin Luther King Park.
  • Mountainside: $30,000 for upgrades to playground, and renovations to the Deerfield softball and baseball Fields.
  • New Providence: $40,000 for modifications to the walking path surrounding the Recreational Complex
  • Plainfield: $90,000 for the installation of new lighting at the basketball courts in Rushmore Park.
  • Rahway: $25,645 for milling, resurfacing, color coating, relining, and adding ADA access to the basketball court at Howard Field.
  • Roselle: $75,000 for Phase II of improvements at Grove Street Park, with new toddler playground that meets State of New Jersey safety requirements.
  • Roselle Park: $50,000for
Continue reading

Japan wants to bring space travel into the city

Cylindrical steel and glass towers protrude through solar panels on the vast circular roof of the futuristic, four-story Spaceport City.



a large ship in a body of water: Spaceport City Japan, a conceptual design project by Space Port Japan Association, dentsu, canaria and noiz. Image provided by Noiz. NB: One time use


© Space Port Japan Association, Dentsu, Canaria and Noiz Architects
Spaceport City Japan, a conceptual design project by Space Port Japan Association, dentsu, canaria and noiz. Image provided by Noiz. NB: One time use

The spaceport rises from an island that floats in Tokyo Bay, with the skyscrapers of Japan’s capital in the background. It’s designed to launch tourists on day trips to space, where they will be able to see the building’s huge roof — as well as glimpse the curvature of the Earth and experience zero gravity.

If that sounds like a vision of the future, that’s because it is. But Noiz Architects — who designed the concept in collaboration with communications firm Dentsu, designers Canaria, and non-profit Spaceport Japan — hopes that the coming years will see a new generation of spaceports constructed as part of the urban landscape.

The spaceport will do much more than offer adventurous tourists the trip of a lifetime. It’s a day trip destination in itself, with lifestyle and education facilities designed to help earthbound visitors become “more familiar with space” says Urszula Kuczma, project manager at Noiz Architects.

The mixed-use space includes research and business facilities, an education academy, shops, a hotel, an astronaut-food restaurant, a 4D IMAX movie theatre, an art museum, a gym, an aquarium and a disco — all space-themed, of course.

To make the spaceport accessible, Noiz Architects’ design incorporates public transport with a network of bridges that carry electric cars and autonomous trains, seamlessly integrating the floating island with the city, says Kuczma. The idea, she says, is to stimulate economic opportunities, while inspiring people to explore the possibilities of technology and the wonders of space.



a plane sitting on top of a table: The spaceport is designed like an airport, for suborbital spacecrafts that take off horizontally like planes.


© Space Port Japan Association, Dentsu, Canaria and Noiz Architects
The spaceport is designed like an airport, for suborbital spacecrafts that take off horizontally like planes.

Day trips to space

Unlike the conventional vertical rocket launchers most of us associate with space travel, Spaceport City is designed for suborbital spaceships that look more like planes and take off horizontally.

Commercial suborbital spaceflights are not yet available, but companies including Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic are testing suborbital spacecrafts for space tourism. Virgin Galactic is leading the way in the development of horizontal-launch spacecraft — the type that Spaceport City is designed for. The company has flown crewed test flights and has already signed up over 600 passengers for the yet unscheduled $250,000-per-seat, 90-minute spaceflight, which it hopes to launch as early as next year.



The roof of the spaceport will be covered with solar panels.


© Space Port Japan Association, Dentsu, Canaria and Noiz Architects
The roof of the spaceport will be covered with solar panels.

The company says its spacecraft will fly at least 50 miles (80 kilometers) above Earth, and travelers will be able to leave their seats for a few minutes to experience zero-gravity.

While the spaceflight will take less than two hours, those hoping to shoot for

Continue reading