Thursday, May 29, 2008

County releases open space grant applications

All Monmouth towns are eligible to apply by Sept. 17

FREEHOLD – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders is once again soliciting applications from municipalities wishing to compete for a share of $2 million from the Monmouth County Municipal Open Space Grant Program to create or expand local park facilities.

Applications for the latest round of grants have been mailed to all 53 Monmouth County municipalities. The deadline for submitting a grant application is 4 p.m. Sept. 17, and only complete applications will be considered for funding. Grant awards will be announced in December 2008.

The grants, part of a competitive matching-funds program for municipalities, are administered by the Monmouth County Park System and funded through the Monmouth County Open Space Trust Fund.

“I encourage all of our municipalities to submit their plans for park improvements or open space acquisitions,” said Freeholder Director Lillian G. Burry, liaison to the Monmouth County Park System. “This is an excellent way for towns and the county to partner in providing recreation and open space to benefit our residents and the environment. Quality parks and open space contribute positively to the quality of life here in Monmouth County.”

All 53 Monmouth County municipalities are eligible to apply for funding awards. Last year, 20 towns successfully submitted requests for grants seeking a total of $3.9 million, of which the Board of Chosen Freeholders approved 11 applications and awarded $2 million in grants.

“The Freeholders are proud to be a part of successful municipal park projects,” said Freeholder Director Burry. “The Borough of Bradley Beach recently completed improvements to two parks, Neptune City was able to improve Adams Field Park and Manalapan Township was able to acquire two parcels of land adjacent to its existing recreation center.”

Further information on the grant program can be found at the Monmouth County Park System’s Web site at or by calling 732-842-4000, ext. 4472.

In November 2002, Monmouth County voters approved expansion of the existing County Open Space Trust Fund to include monies for cooperative projects with municipalities within the county. The Board of Chosen Freeholders formally established the program in 2003 and began allocating $2 million annually to municipalities.

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