MOUNT HOLLY, NJ – Burlington County announced on Thursday that it will distribute a record-high $5.2 million in municipal parks grants to 38 municipalities this year as part of the Board of Chosen Freeholders’ continuing efforts to assist local towns and property taxpayers.

“We’re incredibly proud to have a county parks system that is second to none in New Jersey, but we’re also doing our part to assist our towns make critical improvements to their local parks and recreational facilities,” said Freeholder Linda Hynes, the board’s liaison to the Department of Resource Conservation and Parks. “This partnership ensures that there are quality parks in all 40 of our county’s towns. No matter where you live you can enjoy all the beauty and outdoor recreation our county has to offer.”

Bordentown Township, Bordentown City and Fieldsboro were provided over $300,000 for their park projects. The Township will receive $150,000 for improvements to Northern Community Park. The City was awarded $88,900 for the Chief Francis Lee Memorial. Fieldsboro was granted $65,000 for improvements to its playground at the Municipal Building.

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“By awarding these grants, we ensure that residents from all our towns benefit from the county’s open space and farmland tax and not just those who live in the farm belt or in areas with substantial open space,” Hynes said. “It’s also a form of direct property tax relief since these are dollars that municipalities don’t have to borrow or raise from their property taxpayers.”

“This year’s improvements include new playground equipment, walking and bike paths to fishing piers and field improvements,” Hynes said. “They may not be in county parks, but our residents will certainly benefit from them, and without this grant funding, they might not become a reality.”

All 40 municipalities in the county were eligible to apply for grants up to $250,000 to use to construct, repair or improve parks facilities or to acquire open space or farmland for a future park. Funding for the grants comes from the county’s voter-approved dedicated open space and farmland preservation tax. No local match is required for towns to receive the grant funding, though the awards are restricted to hard costs such as construction, renovation and repair rather than for design or engineering expenses.

The Municipal Park Development Grants program was first created in 2010 to assist towns with developing or improving their parks for outdoor active recreation. No grants were awarded in 2018 but the freeholders restored funding for the program last year.

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