ELIZABETH, NJ – The Township of Union was the recipient of grant and award money presented at the Union County Freeholder’s meeting Thursday evening. The Freeholders presented 2017 grants for the Kids Recreation Trust, the Greening Grant Award and the Preserve Union County Grant.
Union received $70,000.00 (Kids Recreation Trust) for the renovation and expansion of the Weber Park play area; $4,700 (Greening Grant Award) for 80 trees; and $3,400 (Preserve Union County Grant) for the Caldwell Parsonage.
“We are so grateful to the Board of Chosen Freeholders for the generous grant award,” said Union Superintendent of Recreation DJ Salvante speaking of the Kids Recreation Trust grant money. “Together and in addition to the commitment from the Mayor, Township Committee and administration, the grant and its Township match will provide necessary upgrades to the picnic area at Weber Park as well as the opportunity to modernize the park. We look forward to the project and the upgrades for our residents and park users.”
The total amount awarded across the county was $1,400,301.75.
The grant programs are administered and funded through the Union County Open Space, Kids Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. They provide matching funds to assist communities with projects that meet local needs. In the latest round this week, the Board announced grants to a total of 20 municipalities and one Board of Education through both programs. The Preservation grants were awarded to eleven institutions.
"The Open Space, Kids Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund has played a crucial role in helping our local governments continue to improve resources for their citizens," said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. "This latest round of funding demonstrates the value we place on preserving and maintaining our public spaces."
The Union County Open Space, Kids Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund was established by popular referendum in 2000 with an initial focus on expanding and improving County parks. In 2004 the mission was broadened to include Kids Recreation annual matching grants to municipalities for improving local children's recreation resources, and annual Greening Union County "tree for tree" matching grants for municipal properties.
Freeholder Angel Estrada, who initiated Greening Union County as Chairman in 2004, noted that the program has provided funding for 11,414 trees for municipalities since then.
The 2017 Kids Recreation Trust Fund totaled $1 million in matching grants. Other awardees are:
Berkeley Heights: $50,000.00 for improvements at Peppertown Park, Columbia Park and the McMillin School.
Clark: $25,000.00 for basketball posts and backboards
Cranford: $60,000.00 for improvements to Memorial Complex's baseball field, Centennial Avenue pool and playgrounds at Adams, Buchanan and Johnson Park .
Elizabeth: $85,000.00 for improvements to Hanratty Field including a new entranceway and playground equipment.
Fanwood: $40,000.00 for the development of Forest Road Park tennis courts, basketball courts, gazebo and landscaping.
Garwood: $55,000.00 for an overhaul of Hartman Park.
Kenilworth: $45,000.00 for environmental purposes.
Linden: $65,000.00 for resurfacing of playgrounds at Sergeant Alexander Wales Memorial, Seventh Ward Park and Melnyk Park .
Mountainside: $50,000.00 for improvements at Beechwood School including playground and soccer field.
New Providence: $50,000.00 for upgrading the playing fields at Grove Terrace Field.
Plainfield: $50,000.00 for improvements to the baseball, soccer field and landscaping at Milt Campbell Park.
Rahway: $50,000.00 for improvements to Updating Madden Field at Capobianco Plaza including synthetic turf, fencing, bleacher seating and electronic scoreboard.
Roselle: $50,000.00 for the second phase of renovations at Arminio Field House.
Roselle Park: $30,000.00 for equipment, including improvements to wrestling program.
Scotch Plains: $55,000.00 for improvements to Mini Golf Course and Pro Shop, and tennis courts at Green Forest Park.
Scotch Plains/Fanwood Board of Education: $25,000.00 for upgrades at Terrill Middle School field.
Springfield: $30,000.00 for improvements at Chisholm Park including shade structures, benches, ground surfacing and fencing.
Summit: $50,000.00 for the relocation of current bocce court and additional improvements.
Westfield: $50,000.00 for playground equipment at Mindowaskin Park.
The 2017 Greening Union County funding totaled $100,301.00 in "tree for tree" matching grants. The number of trees planned by each awardee is (Trust Fund matching grants are in parentheses):
Berkeley Heights: 10 ($2,500.00)
Cranford: 45 ($4,500.00)
Elizabeth: 150 ($27,500.00)
Fanwood: 8 ($571.75)
Hillside: 20 ($4,000.00)
Kenilworth: 12-14 ($3,000.00)
Linden: 54 ($9,500.00)
New Providence: 20 ($2,500.00)
Plainfield: 78 ($9,700.00)
Rahway: 30 ($1,500.00)
Roselle: 70 ($5,000.00)
Scotch Plains: 45 ($3,750.00)
Springfield: 50 ($6,000.00)
Summit: 80 ($7,800.00)
Westfield: 80 ($7,780.00)
The 2017 Preserve Union County Grants totaled $300,000 and the other awardees are:
Berkley Heights: $10,000 for Little-Lord Farmstead
City of Elizabeth (2): $43,320 for the First Presbyterian Church and $43,320 for the Garden State Community Bank
Fanwood: $43,320 for the Railroad Station Complex
Kenilworth: $10,000 for the Oswald J. Nitchke House
Plainfield: $25,000 for duCret School of Art
Rahway: $25,000 for Merchant and Dover
Scotch Plains: $43,320 for Rotary Frazee House
Summit: $10,000 for Reeves Reed Arboretum
Westfield: $43,320 for Reeve House