Union County News

Springfield Gets $25.47K Grant for Inclusive Playground Equipment for Children with Disabilities

9ee15bbf45bc9345fdfb_Springfield.jpg
Credits: Springfield NJ
9ee15bbf45bc9345fdfb_Springfield.jpg

WESTFIELD, NJ — Springfield is getting a $25,470 “Level the Playing Field” grant from Union County, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders announced Thursday.

The new grant program was designed to help every Union County municipality provide inclusive playgrounds to children with disabilities as part of Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados’s 2018 Union County HEART initiative for community outreach and advocacy, according to press release from the county.

All 21 municipalities in the county received part of a total of $500,000 in Level the Playing Field awards, funded through the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights        $25,470.00     

Clark                          $25,470.00     

Cranford                     $25,470.00     

Elizabeth                    $25,470.00     

Fanwood                    $15,000.00     

Garwood                    $25,470.00     

Hillside                        $20,000.00     

Kenilworth                 $25,470.00     

Linden                         $25,470.00     

Mountainside             $25,470.00     

New Providence         $25,470.00     

Plainfield                     $25,470.00     

Rahway                      $25,470.00     

Roselle                       $25,470.00     

Roselle Park               $25,470.00     

Scotch Plains              $25,470.00     

Springfield                 $25,470.00     

Summit                       $25,470.00     

Union                         $17,010.00     

Westfield                   $15,000.00     

Winfield Park              $25,470.00     

“Every child should be able to enjoy a playground in or near their neighborhood, and participate in enriching sensory experiences with friends, family and neighbors from all walks of life,” Granados said in press release. Granados launched Level the Playing Field in 2017 while serving as vice chairman. “We would like this program to become a statewide model for counties and local governments, showing how we can work together and help all families make healthy outdoor play a lifetime habit.”

“Once all of the projects are completed, Union County will be the first county in New Jersey to have an inclusive playground for every municipality within its borders,” added Granados. “Based on our research, we may also be the first county in the U.S. with inclusive playgrounds for every municipality.”

“Through Level the Playing Field, the Freeholder Board continues to deliver on the Trust Fund’s promise of expanding and improving recreational opportunities for all county residents,” said Freeholder Alexander Mirabella, Chairman of the Trust Fund, in the release.“The benefits of inclusive playgrounds ripple out to include families and caregivers, helping to forge closer bonds within the whole community.”

Letters to all 21 municipalities announcing the availability of Level the Playing Field funding were mailed last fall, and all 21 responded, according to the county.

Many Union County parks already feature playgrounds with inclusive features, the county said. In 2016 the county opened its first fully accessible playground, located in Mattano Park in Elizabeth.

In another recent project focusing on people with disabilities, last fall the Freeholder Board broke ground on Union County’s first all-inclusive Sensory Trial. The new 0.3 mile loop in the Watchung Reservation includes a Braille trail with rope guides and nature-themed play structures, designed to be enjoyed by all ages and abilities.

Other Union County programs for people with disabilities include the Sensory Friendly Theatre series sponsored by the Freeholder Board at the Union County Performing Arts Center, and programs at the County’s Ulrich Swimming Pool, Watchung Stables and Trailside Nature and Science Center.

The Freeholder Board also provides funding for special events such as annual fishing derbies, an ice skating social, summer carnival and barn dance, as well as programs for popular activities including golf, karate, yoga and volleyball.

UC HEART stands for “Empowering, Advocating for, Reaching and Teaching others.” In addition to the new Level the Playing field grant program, UC HEART includes creation of the first Office for People with Special Needs in New Jersey.

The new office is charged with improving recreational and social opportunities, reaching out to community groups and other stakeholders and identifying new opportunities for engaging people with special needs.

More information about the Office for People with Special Needs is available on the County website, ucnj.org.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Springfield

Summer Life Guard Job Opportunity in Union County

April 9, 2018

UNION COUNTY, NJ - Summer lifeguard positions are available at Union County’s public swimming pool, the Walter Ulrich Memorial Pool at Rahway River Park in Rahway.

“Union County’s Ulrich Pool provides our youth and adult summer job seekers with an opportunity to enjoy working outdoors in the fresh air all summer long while sharpening valuable life skills including leadership, ...

Politics IS Government in Union County

April 22, 2018

After Bruce Patrson of Garwood was stopped from speaking at the Union County freeholder meeting of March 22 regarding the politics behind refusing to give the party line to a sitting freeholder I thought this brazen suppression of free speech could not go unanswered. A the the April 19 meeting I answered with these comments.

After ten years of following government in Union County I conclude ...

Travels Spotlight: New Brunswick Ciclovia opens 2018 Season

April 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK  – New Brunswick Ciclovia will open its 2018 season on Sunday, April 22 for another fun day of open streets and active living for all. 

Now in its fifth year, New Brunswick Ciclovia is a family-friendly event that emphasizes healthy living and community building by opening our streets and offering programming for all to enjoy. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., more ...

Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless Announces Fundraiser Because There’s No Place Like Home

April 22, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ – For the thousands of children who are either homeless or living with its threat, the phrase There’s No Place Like Home has a special, poignant meaning, one the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless knows well.

On Wednesday, May 16, the Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless will host its annual No Place Like Home to raise funds for its children’s ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Self-Care Event

Health & Wellness

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

Cranford Community Center, Cranford

The History of Hanson Park and Surrounding ...

Education

Tue, April 24, 7:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Lenore Raphael Presents Ellington and More at ...

Arts & Entertainment