The Garden State will soon see more funding for community recreation, as Gov. Phil Murphy recently announced nearly $100 million in investments for community recreation initiatives across the state.
The funding will be provided through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and its Green Acres program.
Of the total funding, $92.2 million in funding was subject to approval from the Garden State Preservation Trust (GSPT). An additional $7.7 million will be made available under for urban parks.
Investment in Open Spaces, Parks
“The projects recommended for funding to the independent Garden State Preservation Trust will help build and update New Jersey’s outstanding parks, recreation, and open space inventories while providing for construction of inclusive playgrounds,” said Murphy.
“These grants and loans will benefit numerous communities across the state by providing opportunities to engage in healthy activities, enjoy the outdoors, and spend quality family time together,” said the governor.
Grant Funding for GSPT by the Numbers
The $92.2 million in projects recommended to the GPST includes:
- $27.2 million for municipal and county land acquisition projects;
- $45.1 million for local development of parks and recreation facilities;
- $7.4 million to counties for development of Completely Inclusive Playgrounds as part of Jake’s Law;
- $3.8 million for local stewardship projects;
- $4.4 million for acquisition projects by nonprofit organizations;
- $3.6 million for nonprofit recreational development projects; and
- $720,000 for nonprofit stewardship projects.
Following approval from GSPT, the Legislature must formally appropriate the Green Acres funds for these projects.
Urban Parks Projects
Sixteen municipalities across nine counties will urban parks project funding, including Paterson.
Paterson, in partnership with the New Jersey Community Development Corporation and the Open Space Land Institute Land Trust, Inc., would make multiple improvements to Westside Park that include installing an accessible ramp and staging area with access to the Passaic River, enhancing riparian and meadow areas, and adding a new pedestrian pathway system, picnic area, children’s garden, and play area. Reconstructing tennis courts and a basketball court and making various athletic complex improvements are also proposed.
The Green Acres Jake’s Law Pilot Program provides 75% matching grant funding to county governments to construct Completely Inclusive Playgrounds. Among the North Jersey towns receiving grants are Riverside County Park South in North Arlington and Lyndhurst, James J. Braddock Park in North Bergen, and Camp Hope in West Milford.
Major Green Acres local projects recommended for matching grants of $1 million or more include those in Garfield, Riverside County Park in Lyndhurst and North Arlington, two projects in Newark, Laurel Hill County Park in Secaucus, Cape May Street Waterfront Park in Harrison, Southwest Park in Hoboken, Nash Park in Clifton and four separate projects in the city of Passaic.