Freeholder Director Bruce Garganio has announced that the Board of Chosen Freeholders has awarded the county’s 2015 Municipal Park Development Grants, which allow for up to $5 million dollars to be distributed amongst municipalities to assist in the creation and improvement of local outdoor recreation facilities.
“With nearly $25 million dollars in grants awarded to date, the county has seen many worthwhile projects completed that have helped to improve the quality of life of our residents,” Garganio said. “We look forward to the new opportunities that this year’s grants will offer to our municipalities and our residents.”
This is the sixth year in which such grants– which have been used to build and improve local parks, trails, ball fields and other recreational facilities — have been allocated as part of the county’s national award winning Municipal Park Development Program.
“When we created this program our goals were to assist the municipalities, all of which had been hit hard by the struggling economy, and to allow those towns that pay the farmland preservation and open space tax but that do not have farmland to preserve to participate in the program in a meaningful way,” Garganio said.
The grant program is funded through the county’s dedicated Open Space, Recreation, Farmland and Historic Preservation Trust Fund. No municipal cost share or “match” is required to receive this grant funding. However, the funding is exclusively for hard costs, such as construction and repair of facilities, and not for the purchase of equipment or for operational and maintenance costs. Funds may be applied to the acquisition of recreational land.
Just some of the projects to be funded with this year’s awards will include upgrades to neighborhood parks, Green Lane Farms, Country Farms, and Westbury Chase in Evesham, improvements to the Freedom Park and the Bob Meyer Park basketball courts in Medford, establishing a dog park at Swedes Run in Moorestown, improvements to Thunderbird Dog Park in Mt. Laurel, improvements to Saddle Brook Ridge Recreation Complex and Dingletown Recreation Complex in Shamong and repair of tennis and basketball courts at Prickett’s Mill Park in Tabernacle.