Program celebrates 12 years of support for municipal projects

FREEHOLD, NJ – Last night, the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders approved grants totaling $2.5 million from the 2014 Monmouth County Open Space Trust Fund to improve and develop park facilities and acquire park land in 15 municipalities.

“The municipal open space grant program furthers the County’s ongoing commitment to land preservation for parks, recreation, open space and farmland,” said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the County’s Park System that administers the grants. “This year, 15 projects were awarded grants, including a project in Allenhurst, which was a first time applicant.”

This is the twelfth 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 more than $27 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. This is the ultimate shared service.” 

The grants this year are for park development and improvement projects and one addition acquisition:

  • Allenhurst, $140,000 for the creation of a park space for open play, the repairing of an existing concrete patio and construction of a beach access stairs/ramp at AllenAvenuePark. 
  • Belmar, $250,000 for the replacement of existing tennis courts and restrooms and the construction of new bocce courts and a pavilion at MacleariePark.
  • Fair Haven, $250,000 for development of boat ramps, bulkheading, pathways, landscaping and benches to improve access to the NavesinkRiver at Battin Road, Grange Avenue and Hance Road.
  • FreeholdTownship, $159,000 for a new 10,000 square foot, fully accessible playground and new pavilion at the MichaelJ.TighePark.
  • Keansburg, $19,000 for the acquisition of .12 acres adjacent to FriendshipPark.
  • Manalapan, $188,000 for a new water element at the SplashPark at the ManalapanRecreationCenter.
  • Manasquan, $175,000 for the reconstruction of baseball and softball fields at MallardPark.
  • Marlboro, $145,000 for the replacement of two existing tennis courts with three new courts that include blended lines for youth play.
  • Millstone, $250,000 forPhase 1 of major park development plan at Millstone Park that includes six irrigated fields, a 2,250 square foot restroom/snack /shelter building, two tot-lots, a boat launch, two fishing piers, parking for 268 cars and related storm water management and park amenities.
  • NeptuneTownship, $232,000 for the widening of and addition of rubberized surfacing to 2,750 linear foot running and walking track including drainage improvements.
  • OceanTownship, $182,000 for the reconstruction of the 4th fairway (Par 5) including a new irrigation system to address drainage issues.
  • Rumson, $250,000 for the conversion of a softball field and grass field area to a multi‐sport synthetic turf field and relocation of 9/11 Memorial and flag pole at PipingRockPark.
  • Shrewsbury, $104,000 for the reconstruction of the baseball field and construct two new micro‐soccer fields, reconstruction and widening the walking trail, addition of 12 fitness stations and conversion of the existing storage building into a concession stand at Manson Park.
  • Spring Lake, $130,000 for the construction of a two-platform tennis court, an equipment shed and new detention basin that will serve as an ice skating area at Marucci Park.
  • Union Beach, $75,000 for resurfacing and recolor coating of the existing roller hockey rink, replacement of dasher boards, installation of heavy-duty fencing and other related site improvements at Scholer Park.

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, 48 towns have successfully applied and received funding for 159 individual projects,” Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr. 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 2014 matching grants, a total of $27,213,000 has been awarded to date. 

Applications for the 2015 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.