Program celebrates 11 years of support of municipal projects

FREEHOLD, NJ – Last night, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved grants totaling $2.3 million from the 2013 Monmouth County Open Space Trust Fund to improve park facilities in 13 municipalities.

“The municipal open space grant program furthers the County’s ongoing commitment to land preservation for parks, recreation, open space and farmland,” said Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the County’s Park System that administers the grants. “This year, seven towns applied for funding to help with Sandy-related recovery projects.”

This is the eleventh year of the program. All of the County’s 53 municipalities were eligible to apply for the land acquisition and park facility awards.

“With this round of municipal open space grants we have now funded nearly $25 million of park and open space projects in our communities,” Burry said. “Sharing the cost of municipal projects supports and improves the quality of life in all of our communities.” 

All of the grants this year are for park development or improvement projects:

  • Asbury Park, $250,000 for the third development phase of Springwood Avenue Park to include benches, a shade structure, lighting and other site improvements. 
  • Atlantic Highlands, $113,000 for Superstorm Sandy repairs to Harbor Park’s three popular tennis courts and basketball court.
  • Brielle, $50,000 for Superstorm Sandy rehabilitation work at Brielle Park related to parking area and fencing.
  • Eatontown, $180,000 for replacement of Superstorm Sandy damaged restroom and storage buildings at Wolcott Park; one new building will be built along with walking path improvements and other amenities.
  • Fair Haven, $30,000 for improvements to Fair Haven Fields to replace Superstorm Sandy damaged treed buffer between active area of the park and neighboring residential area.
  • Keyport, $101,000 to improve undeveloped waterfront park for passive recreation use by adding a gazebo, picnic tables, benches, landscaping and parking.
  • Manalapan, $250,000 for improvements to the township’s most active park that includes a new building for a meeting room, a concession and restrooms.
  • Marlboro, $250,000 for the creation of a “convertible” baseball field at Marlboro Country Park suitable for little league, transitional leagues, regulation baseball and softball.  
  • Matawan, $250,000 for the first phase of improvements to Gravelly Park that include upgrades multipurpose baseball and soccer facilities, irrigation and utility improvements and the demolition of the existing pavilion. 
  • Neptune Township, $250,000 for development of a skateboard facility and play structure at Stratford Skate Park.
  • Oceanport, $168,000 for rehabilitation of boat launch facility at Blackberry Bay Park that was damaged during Superstorm Sandy.  
  • Red Bank, $188,000 for Superstorm Sandy damage to Marine Park that will relocate the restroom building out of the flood zone and replace lighting and marina power pedestals.
  • Union Beach, $50,000 for Scholer Park benches, picnic tables, irrigations and security improvements along with the replacement of landscaping damaged by Superstorm Sandy.

Land acquisition and development for park recreation and open space purposes are made possible by the Monmouth County Municipal Open Space Grant Program, a competitive matching-funds program for municipalities sponsored by the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and administered by the Monmouth County Park System. The maximum matching amount awarded to a particular project is $250,000.

“Since the inception of the County’s Municipal Open Space Grant program in 2003, 47 towns have successfully applied and received funding for 144 individual projects,” Freeholder Director Thomas A. Arnone said. “This is another example of working cooperatively with our towns to provide a more beautiful and more active county.”

With the inclusion of the 2013 matching grants, a total of $24,664,000 has been awarded to date. 

Applications for the 2014 Monmouth County Municipal Open Space Grant Program will be available on or about May 1. The filing deadline will be in September.

For more information, visit the Monmouth County Park System’s website at www.monmouthcountyparks.com.