WESTFIELD, NJ — Union County is awarding the town of Westfield $63,600 in matching grants, the board of freeholders announced Monday: $50,000 for upgrades to playgrounds and youth athletic facilities and $13,600 for purchasing, planting or maintaining trees on local streets and other municipal properties.

Westfield is among 19 municipalities to receive money for upgrades to playgrounds and youth athletic facilities through the Kids Recreation Trust Fund. Fourteen municipalities also received matching grants for street trees under the Greening Union County program.

2016 Kids Recreation Grants

Town

Grant Award

Berkeley Heights

$50,000.00

Clark

$39,000.00

Cranford

$60,000.00

Elizabeth

$85,000.00

Fanwood

$40,000.00

Kenilworth

$50,000.00

Linden

$75,000.00

Mountainside

$40,000.00

New Providence

$20,000.00

Plainfield

$45.450.00

Rahway

$24,980.00

Roselle

$50,000.00

Roselle Park

$75,000.00

Scotch Plains

$50,000.00

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

$20,000.00

Springfield

$75,000.00

Summit

$50,000.00

Union

$75,000.00

Westfield

$50,000.00

 

2016 Greening Union County Grants

Town

Total Trees

Grant Award

Berkeley Heights

11

$5,250.00

Cranford

45

$4,000.00

Elizabeth

150

$14,000.00

Fanwood

10

$1,200.00

Garwood

75

$5,000.00

Kenilworth

8

$2,500.00

Linden

62

$10,000.00

Plainfield

120

20,000.00

Roselle

70

$4,000.00

Scotch Plains

60

$3,750.00

Springfield

40

$5,000.00

Summit

60

$7,000.00

Union

80

$4,700.00

Westfield

140

$13,600.00

The 2016 matching grants for the Kids Recreation and Greening Union County programs totaled $1.1 million.

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Funding for both programs is provided by the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, according to the freeholders.

“These matching grants enable municipalities to keep their recreational facilities up-to-date, and to maintain attractive treescapes that help filter dust and pollutants in local neighborhoods,” Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen said in a press release. “It is a real pleasure to see the Open Space Trust Fund continue to benefit communities throughout Union County.”

Kids Recreation grants can be used for upgrading municipal parks and recreational facilities, such as playground enhancements, renovating baseball fields, resurfacing basketball courts and safety upgrades.

“Together, these two grant programs provide municipal policymakers with more opportunities to enhance their neighborhoods and make improvements in a timely manner, helping to meet the needs of their communities for years to come,” Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalski said in the release.  Kowalski is chair of the Open Space Trust Fund Board.

The Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund were established by popular referendum in 2000, and began operating in 2001. Since then, it has made more than $17 million in matching grants available to municipalities for local projects.

In addition, the Open Space Trust Fund has enabled the county to acquire more than 300 acres for public recreation, and to upgrade county facilities, according to the freeholders.