Mantua receives $3,000 grant to improve park

Money will pay for seven new trash cans at Chestnut Branch

Courtesy of Mantua Township. New trash cans at Chestnut Branch Park are being paid for with money from a Sustainable Communities Environmental Stewardship Grant funded in part by Atlantic City Electric.

Mantua Township has received a $3,000 Sustainable Communities Environmental Stewardship Grant to pay for seven new trash cans at Chestnut Branch Park.

The grant is funded by Atlantic City Electric, in partnership with Sustainable Jersey. The new cans hold up to 32 gallons and were built by Robbinsville-based Global Industrial.

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“Brett Fleming, who is our administrative project coordinator, was the one who told us about it and applied for it,” said Mayor Robert Zimmerman. “Each municipality (In the state) can apply and get money for projects that focus on public parks, space preservation and environmental protection.”

The Sustainable Communities Environmental Stewardship Grant is worth up to $5,000 for each municipality that receives one. The total for the grant is $50,000, according to Atlantic City Electric’s website. 

The grant will not affect Mantua’s budget.

“We were approved for $3,000 and we hope to get funds for next year as well,” said Zimmerman. “If it’s open, we’ll apply again to improve our parks. We try not to burden taxpayers and a grant helps with saving money from the budget.”

Should Mantua be approved for a future grant, Zimmerman said the township will likely invest in a water bottle refilling station, also for Chestnut Branch Park. 

According to the mayor, Mantua’s park system is a major focus, since unlike other nearby towns like Pitman and Harrison Township, it lacks a town center where people can gather.  

“Our park system is one of the major focuses of our (township) committee,” Zimmerman noted. “Many people use the park to spend time together. Every year, we put money into the park, since we don’t have a downtown”.

Zimmerman said that last year, there were improvements to the park’s upper lot that were preceded by upgrades on the lower lots and new lights. The park covers 109 acres and is named for the chestnut branch of Mantua Creek, according to the township website. Events held there during the year include the annual winter festival and the Patriot Day ceremony.

Other parks that are part of Mantua’s system include Ceres Park on Main Street, McCarson Park on Mantua Boulevard and Mercer Street and Tall Pines State Preserve on Bark Bridge Road and Indian Trail.

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