Completed park projects are lauded 

FREEHOLD – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders recognized local open space grant projects in 15 towns by presenting them with signs to commemorate completion of their park acquisition and improvement projects.

“What better time than July’s National Park and Recreation Month to recognize communities who successfully completed Municipal Open Space Grant Program projects in the past year,” said Freeholder Director Robert D. Clifton.

Towns recognized by the Board are:

  • ·Allentown for its acquisition of a 33-acre parcel adjacent to an existing municipal park and part of a cooperative regional open space preservation project. Councilwomen Jean Hunter and Audrey Mount accepted the project sign.
  • ·Atlantic Highlands for construction of the one-mile trail along the borough’s waterfront.
  • ·Colts Neck for its preservation of a five-acre parcel adjacent to existing municipal open space and a Category One stream. Accepting the project sign was Colts Neck Deputy Mayor Jarrett Engel.
  • ·Fair Haven for construction of a multi-purpose field and perimeter walking path at Fair Haven Fields. Councilman Robert Marchese, Borough Administrator Theresa Casagrande and Borough Engineer Richard Gardella accepted the project sign.
  • highlands_tim_hill
    Highlands Recreation Director Tim Hill accepts a new sign from Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Curley.
  • ·Highlands for its reconstruction of the Community Center Park and Playground, the borough’s principal active recreation area. Accepting the project sign was Recreation Director Tim Hill.
  • ·Long Branch for construction of Manahasset Park, a new 19-acre park with football, soccer and softball fields, tennis and basketball courts, a playground and many other amenities. Accepting the project sign was City Administrator Howard Woolley.
  • ·Manalapan for acquisition of a 25-acre parcel adjacent to the township’s sports complex. Accepting the project sign were Mayor Andrew Lucas, Deputy Mayor Ryan Green, Committeeman Donald Holland, Committeeman Jordan Maskowitz, Committeewoman Michelle Roth and Assistant Administrator Renee Garrigana.
  • ·Millstone for acquisition of a 21.6-acre addition to Millstone Park. Mayor Nancy Grbelja and Pat Butch, chairwoman of the open space committee, accepted the project sign.
  • ·Neptune for construction of new playgrounds at four township parks. Mayor Kevin McMillan and Councilmen Eric Houghtaling and Randy Bishop accepted the project sign.
  • · Oceanport for construction of a new playground for 2- to 5-year-old tots, a paved walkway and a nature overlook at Charles Park. Accepting the project sign were Michael Minervini and Robert Mills, members of the borough’s Recreation Committee
  • ·Rumson for acquisition of a .59-acre addition to Victory Park on the Navesink River. Borough Administrator Thomas Rogers accepted the project sign.
  • ·Sea Girt for construction of new tennis courts, basketball courts, a multi-use play area and tot lot play system for community use at the Sea Girt Elementary School. Accepting the project sign was Justin Dooley, who is the assistant to the borough administrator.
  • ·Tinton Falls for completion of two projects: construction of a multi-purpose building at Liberty Park and acquisition of a 4.9-acre parcel linking a municipal school property and the state’s Swimming River Natural Area. Accepting the project sign was Borough Administrator Gerald Turning.
  • ·Union Beach for construction of a concession building with restrooms at Scholer Park. Accepting the project sign was Councilman Louis Andreuzzi.
  • ·Upper Freehold Township for a 35-acre parcel that is part of a cooperative regional open space preservation project.

“This program helps towns preserve open space and acquire and improve parkland by sharing the costs with the county,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, who is liaison to the county Park System. “The money raised through the county’s voter-supported, open space fund makes $2 million available annually to help towns create and improve their green spaces.”

Created by the freeholders in 2003, the annual Municipal Open Space Grant Program offers matching grants of up to $250,000 for municipal open space acquisition and development projects. Since its inception, the program has awarded funding in support of 90 important local park and recreation projects in 43 Monmouth County municipalities.

Applications for the 2011 Municipal Open Space Grant Program are available now on the Park System’s Web site at monmouthcountyparks.com. The filing deadline is 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 21.

“I encourage each and every municipality to participate in the county’s open space grant program,” Freeholder Deputy Director John P. Curley said. “All of Monmouth County’s 53 municipalities have until Sept. 21 to submit an application for the next round of matching grants.”

“These projects make a positive difference in the lives of their communities,” Freeholder Amy A. Mallet said. “It is the hard work of the people that serve on town councils, local recreation boards, environmental councils and other committees that make all of these projects possible.”

“All of the towns and efforts recognized are to be commended for their commitment to providing a better quality of life for their residents through enhanced recreation and open space,” Freeholder Thomas A. Arnone said. “The program shares the cost of local land acquisition and park improvement efforts with the county and furthers the county’s shared services goals.”