Union County Distributes $1.15 Million In Kids Recreation Trust Funds

UNION COUNTY – Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella  recently announced a total of more than $1.15 million in matching grants from the Kids’ Recreation Trust Fund will be distributed to municipalities across Union County that are looking to upgrade or build playing fields, including hockey rinks, soccer fields, baseball fields, swimming pools, and other recreational facilities for children and families.

“Over the years, our county’s residents have played on or enjoyed dozens of fields, and athletic facilities that have been rebuilt, refurbished, expanded, or built new under this program,” Mirabella said. “The Kids Recreation Trust Fund has made an incredible difference in our quality of life.”

The Kids’ Recreation Trust Fund was established in 2004, 2004, to help municipalities upgrade their recreational facilities for children. It is a program of the Union County Open Space, Recreation and Historic Preservation Trust Fund, established in 2000 by popular referendum.

The Kids’ Trust Fund consists of matching dollar-for-dollar grants that are based on proposals from Union County municipalities to upgrade their recreational offerings. Eligible projects can include the improvement of existing playing fields and other facilities, or the construction of new facilities.

Some of the projects eligible for the Kids’ Trust Fund are specific to children, such as playgrounds and youth-sized playing fields. Other projects cover popular activities that are accessible to a wide range of age groups.

One highlight of this year’s funding is for a replacement pool at the Erxeleben Center in the Bayway area of Elizabeth. The previous pool had been worn out after 30 years of continuous usage. Access to the pool is free, and it provides a positive alternative for inner city youth. Additionally, the Boys and Girls Club Summer Camp and City of Elizabeth Recreation Summer Camp also utilize the pool, allowing campers to swim and enjoy this recreational venue.

“There is a great need to keep our children involved in after school and recreational activities,” said Freeholder Deborah P. Scanlon, Chairman of the Open Space Trust Fund. “By providing the facilities for these endeavors, the Kids Recreation Trust Fund takes a big step in the right direction in making Union County an even better place to raise a family.”

Other Kids Trust Fund highlights this year include improvements to the Echo Brook Tennis Courts in Mountainside; the renovation of the New Providence community pool; renovation of the playground at Roosevelt Elementary School in Rahway; repair of basketball courts at Seidler and Mathewson fields in Plainfield; and improvements at Chandler and Cristiani Park in Roselle.

2012 Kids’ Recreation Trust Fund Matching Grant Awards:

  • Berkeley Heights: $30,000—PAL, clay ball fields, fencing, dugouts.
  • Cranford: $50,000—Roosevelt Park resurfacing, Orange Ave. filter system.
  • Elizabeth: $150,000 – Erxleben Pool.
  • Fanwood: $62,000 – Forest Road Skateboard park.
  • Garwood: $50,000 – Athletic Field complex, two ball fields, soccer field.
  • Hillside: $74,000 – Rehabilitation to Margaret M. Roche facility.
  • Linden: $150,000—Charles Street playground, resurrect Bacheller Ave. and McGillvay.
  • Mountainside: $31,500 – Echo Brook Tennis Courts, storage unit, drainage system, backstops.
  • New Providence: $50,000 – renovate New Providence Community pool.
  • Plainfield: $37,500 – repair basketball courts, Seidler and Mathewson fields.
  • Rahway: $24,903.50 – renovate playground at Roosevelt Elementary.
  • Roselle: $150,000 – Chandler and Cristiani Park, active and passive recreation renovations.
  • Roselle Park: $14,754 – ADA compliant for recreation and equipment areas for Aldene Park.
  • Scotch Plains: $25,000 – various field improvements.
  • Springfield: $50,000 – athletic field and complex, ballfield improvements.
  • Summit: $50,000 – dugout pads, tennis court, bleachers, drain and landscaping.
  • Union: $100,000 – picnic gazebo, tennis courts, clay for ball fields.
  • Westfield: $50,000– Houlihan and Sid Athletic fields turf replacement.


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