Access to outdoor recreation has never been so valued or recognized for its contribution to maintaining physical and mental health. The pandemic has caused many of us to seek fresh air in solitude in the darker areas of the Garden State. But not every resident can take recreational expeditions to improve access to local recreational facilities.
“Given the critical importance of local recovery in this heightened emergency,” the Department of Local Services of the Ministry of Local Affairs announced this week that applications for a new county, township and school district grant program are being accepted. The Murphy administration has allocated $ 2.5 million for this competitive grant program. It is used to improve and repair public leisure facilities, including local parks, community leisure centers, and local stadiums. It is a modest amount in the context of our time and the strongly increased demand for such facilities.
Grants are given for updating community centers, playgrounds, pools, fields, hiking or cycling trails, railways, multi-sports fields and recreational facilities. You will also receive one-off staff costs directly related to improvements, costs for professional project development services, equipment costs including equipment for playgrounds and recreational facilities, and environmental remediation costs necessary to prepare recreational areas for use.
Applications are due no later than May 24, 2021 at 5 p.m. Program guidelines and detailed information can be found at: www.nj.gov/dca/dlgs/programs/lriggrants.shtml.