Burlington County will distribute a record-high $5.2 million in municipal parks grants to 38 municipalities this year.
“We’re incredibly proud to have a county parks system that is second to none in New Jersey, but we’re also doing our part to assist our towns make critical improvements to their local parks and recreational facilities,” said Freeholder Linda Hynes, the board’s liaison to the Department of Resource Conservation and Parks. “This partnership ensures that there are quality parks in all 40 of our county’s towns. No matter where you live you can enjoy all the beauty and outdoor recreation our county has to offer.”
The Municipal Park Development Grants program was first created in 2010 to assist towns with developing or improving their parks for outdoor active recreation. No grants were awarded in 2018 but the freeholders restored funding for the program last year.
All 40 municipalities in the county were eligible to apply for grants up to $250,000 to use to construct, repair or improve parks facilities or to acquire open space or farmland for a future park. Funding for the grants comes from the county’s voter-approved dedicated open space and farmland preservation tax.
No local match is required for towns to receive the grant funding, though the awards are restricted to hard costs such as construction, renovation and repair rather than for design or engineering expenses.
“By awarding these grants, we ensure that residents from all our towns benefit from the county’s open space and farmland tax and not just those who live in the farm belt or in areas with substantial open space,” Hynes said. “It’s also a form of direct property tax relief since these are dollars that municipalities don’t have to borrow or raise from their property taxpayers.”
Thirty-eight towns are receiving grant funding under the program this year. Beverly and Woodland were the only two towns that did not submit applications for funding.
All towns that applied were awarded some funding this year.
“This year’s improvements include new playground equipment, walking and bike paths to fishing piers and field improvements,” Hynes said. “They may not be in county parks, but our residents will certainly benefit from them, and without this grant funding, they might not become a reality.”
The following is a town-by-town breakdown of this year’s grants:
Bass River: Awarded $78,500 for Amasa Landing boat ramp
Beverly: No application submitted
Bordentown City: Awarded $88,900 for Chief Francis Lee Memorial
Bordentown Township: Awarded $150,000 for improvements to Northern Community Park
Burlington City: Awarded $100,000 for development of bike path and road bike route connecting Delaware River Heritage Trail to JFK Park
Burlington Township: Awarded $200,000 for improvements at Green Acres Park
Chesterfield: Awarded $100,000 for park restrooms
Cinnaminson: Awarded $75,000 for redevelopment of Extension Park playground
Delanco: Awarded $130,000 for multipurpose event lawn at Field of Dreams park
Delran: Awarded $250,000 for improvements to Delran Community Park
Eastampton: Awarded $200,000 for replacement of play structures at Buttonwood Playground
Edgewater Park: Awarded $250,000 for improvements to Roosevelt Park
Evesham: Awarded $200,000 for improvements to 4 tot lots and the walking path at Green Lane Farm property
Fieldsboro: Awarded $65,000 for improvements to a playground at the municipal building
Florence: Awarded $175,000 for improvements to Veterans Park
Hainesport: Awarded $100,000 for improvements to Municipal Park playground, including purchase of new playground equipment for special needs children and surface upgrades
Lumberton: Awarded $80,000 for playground at Ironwood Outdoor Center
Mansfield: Awarded $100,000 for improvements at Community Park
Maple Shade: Awarded $250,000 for resurfacing of basketball courts at John F. Kennedy Field
Medford: Awarded $100,000 for playground equipment replacement in Bob Meyer Park
Medford Lakes: Awarded $55,000 for Cabin Circle Park improvements
Moorestown: Awarded $150,000 for site work related to reconstruction of softball fields at Wesley Bishop Park-South
Mount Holly: Awarded $125,000 for playground replacement, fencing, landscaping and other park amenities at Chestnut Street Park
Mount Laurel: Awarded $175,000 to reconstruct the basketball courts at Mill Run, replace the equipment at Bretton Way Tot Lot, install additional play equipment at Laurel Acres Park, and connect community gardens to public water supply
New Hanover: Awarded $75,000 for basketball court improvements at Nash Park
North Hanover: Awarded $75,000 for new pavilion at Schoolhouse Road Park
Palmyra: Awarded $75,000 for brick pathway replacement and seat walls installation at Veterans Memorial Park
Pemberton Borough: Awarded $60,000 for tot lot at Borough School site
Pemberton Township: Awarded $250,000 to replace the surface material at Imagination Kingdom playground
Riverside: Awarded $250,000 for Whomsley Field improvement
Riverton: Awarded $75,000 for upgrades to playground and nature trail to improve handicapped accessibility
Shamong: Awarded $100,000 for new playground equipment at Larkspur Park and Indian Mills Park
Southampton: Awarded $125,000 for expansion of the Good Farm Recreation Complex
Springfield: Awarded $100,000 for Jobstown-Juliustown Road bike path connecting to county’s planned Arney’s Mount Trail.
Tabernacle: Awarded $155,000 for walking path at Prickett’s Mill Park
Washington: Awarded $70,000 for community center improvements, including a pavilion, lighting, fencing, lighting and a bocce ball court
Westampton: Awarded $250,000 for the local cost share for preservation of the Deacon Farm
Willingboro: Awarded $250,000 for construction of an amphitheater in Willingboro Town Center
Woodland: No application submitted
Wrightstown: Awarded $112,500 for new playground equipment and mulch at Croshaw Park