The Burlington County Commissioners applauded the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs decision to award more than $1.63 million in Local Recreation Improvement grants to Burlington County and several of the county’s municipalities and school districts.
The Commissioners thanked Gov. Phil Murphy, Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver and New Jersey’s legislative leaders for extending the much-needed support, saying it would provide critical funding for important projects without burdening local property taxpayers.
“Our County has invested in our parks, trails and outdoor spaces because we know how important they are for the quality of life residents enjoy here,” said Burlington County Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson. “These grants will allow our County and local municipalities and schools to make improvements to their favorite outdoor areas and community centers. The funding will help us connect parks, improve mobility and ensure all residents have access to a wide selection of healthy recreational opportunities.”
State Senator Troy Singleton said the grants would provide funding for projects that will benefit residents across Burlington County.
“Recreation is important for our physical and mental health so it’s imperative that our communities provide ample opportunities for residents of all ages to engage in different activities,” Senator Singleton said. “These grants will provide vital funding to help advance projects at schools, playgrounds, and parks throughout Burlington County that meet that objective.”
Among the 21 grants awarded to Burlington County governments, is a $78,000 grant to Burlington County to support engineering and design for a new 4-mile trail connecting the County’s Willingboro Lakes Park with the Willingboro’s iconic Mill Creek Municipal Park.
The two parks are located on Beverly-Rancocas Road and are among Burlington County’s most popular destinations for outdoor fun. The Commissioners also envision eventually extending the trail through Willingboro and into Westampton, where the County plans to create a new park on the former Rowan Property along the Rancocas Creek.
Like all the County’s regional trails, the proposed path would be built so that it is wheelchair accessible and provides a safe pedestrian and bicycle-friendly alternative to motor-vehicle travel.
Another County project that received funding is the new all-inclusive playground at the Burlington County Special Services School in Westampton. The DCA awarded the school district $83,000 to aid with construction costs.
The 12,500-square-foot playground is currently under construction and will feature a new safe play surface and all updated equipment designed to be completely accessible and barrier free. It will be used by Special Services students but will also be open for the public to use when school is not in session. Burlington County contributed $400,000 in funding towards building the playground.
“Mobility is a basic right, and all our county’s children deserve to have safe and accessible playgrounds,” said Burlington County Commissioner Allison Eckel, liaison to the Department of Resource Conservation and Parks. “We’re extremely grateful to the Department of Community Affairs for supporting the new Willingboro trail and Special Services playground projects, along with all the other recreational improvements proposed in our county. Our Board and our residents thank the Murphy administration and legislative leaders like Senator Troy Singleton for advocating on behalf of us for this much-needed funding.”
The other Burlington County projects awarded grants are as follows:
Bordentown City: $78,000 for improvements at the 2nd Street Playground
Bordentown Regional School District: $83,000 for bleacher replacement
Burlington City: $82,000 for Kennedy Park improvements
Burlington Township: $78,000 for picnic and pavilion improvements
Chesterfield: $77,000 for 2023 Fenton Lane Park improvements
Cinnaminson: $79,000 for improvements to Ravenswood Park tennis courts
Delanco: $78,000 for Babe Ruth accessibility upgrades and other park improvements
Delran: $84,000 for improvements to Don Deutsch/Peter Vermes Field complex
Eastampton School District: $35,000 for purchase of solar-powered score boards
Eastampton: $78,000 for Phase II of the Hollyville Park Improvement Project
Edgewater Park: $87,000 for new Edgewater Park Community Center
Evesham: $79,000 for Evesboro Downs Park improvements
Florence: $78,000 for tennis court renovation
Lenape Regional High School District: $71,000 for tennis court renovations
Lumberton: $94,140 for Country Village Playground improvements
Maple Shade: $100,000 for improvements to Collins Lane Park
Medford: $82,000 for improvements to Freedom Park skatepark and parking
Westampton: $45,333 for replacement of outdated playground equipment
Willingboro: $87,000 for Kennedy Center track refurbishment