FREEHOLD – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders is once again soliciting applications from municipalities wishing to compete for a share of $2 million from the Monmouth County Municipal Open Space Grant Program to create, expand and improve local parks.
Applications for the latest round of grants have been mailed to all 53 Monmouth County municipalities. The deadline for submitting a grant application is 4 p.m. Sept. 18, and only complete applications will be considered for funding. Grant awards will be announced in December.
The grants, part of a competitive matching-funds program for municipalities, are administered by the County Park System and funded through the Monmouth County Open Space Trust Fund.
“This open space grant program is an opportunity for towns to partner with the county in the provision of recreation and open space spaces that benefit our residents and the environment,” said Freeholder Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the county Park System. “Quality parks and open space contribute positively to life here in Monmouth County. I encourage all of our municipalities to consider submitting their plans for open space acquisitions or park improvements.”
All Monmouth County municipalities are eligible to apply for funding awards. Last year, 16 towns who submitted completed requests for grants were awarded funding by the Board of Chosen Freeholders.
“The freeholders are proud to be a part of successful municipal park projects,” said Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone. “In the first ten years of the program, 46 towns have participated in 132 different projects.”
In November 2002, Monmouth County voters approved expansion of the existing County Open Space Trust Fund to include monies for cooperative projects with municipalities within the county. The Board of Chosen Freeholders formally established the program in 2003 and began allocating $2 million annually to municipalities.