Carteret Receives $15,000 Playground Construction Grant

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CARTERET – Dr Pepper Snapple Group and national non-profit KaBOOM! awarded Carteret a $15,000 Let’s Play Playground Construction grant as announced in August.

The grants are part of the first Let’s Play initiative introduced in November of last year – a $15 million, three-year commitment from Dr Pepper Snapple Group to KaBOOM!, the national non-profit saving play by ensuring there is a great place to play within walking distance of every child. Together through Let’s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America.

“The Borough Council and I recognize the incredible value of playgrounds within our parks system,” Mayor Daniel Reiman said. “Statistics indicate that our children are becoming less physically active, and increasingly asocial with technological advances that have deterred our youths from an adequate amount of outdoor activity. Improvements such as the pending playground at Civic Center Park will play a major part in encouraging our youngsters to engage in healthier and happier lifestyles, and provide a new resource for family oriented activity.”

The Carteret Grants Office submitted a grant application to Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! in July and was one of 35 organizations to receive a grant from a pool of hundreds of applicants.

Funding will be applied towards approximately $30,000 in playground equipment to be installed at an underutilized area at the David B. Crabiel Civic Center Park Sports Complex.

In 2008, Civic Center Park received a restoration that represented the largest parks improvement project in Carteret since its Waterfront Park development. The project was largely made possible through Open Space endorsements, and over $2 million in state and county grants.

The park’s three baseball/softball fields were upgraded to feature low-maintenance turf, and new post/rail fencing, lighting, bleachers, and scoreboards. The improvement project introduced new passive recreational amenities, along with a variety of aesthetic enhancements, and the town’s first “dog park.” New restroom facilities were added, along with additional landscaping and trash enclosures, and additional parking, providing service to the park, its adjacent commuter bus stop, and the Robert Wood Johnson Fitness and Wellness Center.

The Reiman administration has secured over $87 million in grants, donations, and endowments since 2003, with over $38 million in park upgrades alone.

“We’ve been committed since day one to improving Carteret’s parks, and to diversifying the range of recreational opportunities available to our residents and visitors,” Councilman and Parks Commissioner Vinnie Bellino said. “The playground addition to Civic Center Park will fill a void, both in terms of unutilized property, and a former lack of such amenities for Carteret’s youngest residents within the immediate vicinity of the park.”

“Improvements such as this are owed to an aggressive approach to grant-seeking and park upgrades,” Reiman added. “Our team leaves no stone unturned when it comes to finding and getting the grant to improve our parks and our community.”

Installation, or “Build Day,” for the KaBOOM! playground is expected to take place early in 2012.

Individuals are encouraged to visit Let’s Play on Facebook at www.facebook.com/letsplay to join the conversation and learn how to apply for grants.


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