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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 recreational improvements that are part of a larger project planned for the Hawthorne Detention Basin, including installation and improvement of soccer fields and walking paths.
- Scotch Plains: $65,000 for improvements to safety netting at the Scotch Hills Country Club, to protect the historic Shady Rest clubhouse from errant golf shots.
- Springfield: $40,000 for installation of playground equipment, for fencing repairs, and for accessibility improvements.
- Summit: $59,250 for improvements to the basketball courts at Soldiers Memorial Field.
- Union: $75,000 for updates and improvement to the equipment at Hoover Park, and the fitness path in Volunteer Park.
- Westfield $52,500 for upgrades to Edison School Field, for recreation equipment at Tamaques Park, and for an ADA study of municipal parks.
The following municipalities received grants through the 2020 round of the Greening UC program:
- Berkeley Heights: $2,000
- Cranford: $4,500
- Elizabeth: $19,000
- Garwood: $5,000
- Linden: $10,000
- New Providence: $2,500
- Rahway: $4,500
- Roselle: $5,000
- Roselle Park: $10,000
- Scotch Plains: $3.750
- Springfield: $6,000
- Summit: $10,000
- Union: $10,000
- Westfield $10,000
The Open Space Trust Fund also provides grants for local historic preservation projects through the Preserve Union County program. Established in 2003, Preserve Union County awards grants every other year.
For more information and updates on all Union County services and resources during the COVID-19 outbreak, including guidance for using the Drive-Through Test Center at Kean University and the Mobile Test Unit walk-up sites, visit the new Union County COVID-19 website at ucnj.org/covid19.
For general information about COVID-19 and phone contacts for 24/7 assistance with questions, visit the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.
For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email [email protected] or use the online Contact Form.
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