Assemblyman Tim Eustace, Assemblyman Joseph Lagana and Senator Bob Gordon today applauded a $647,500 Green Acres grant for New Milford Borough in the 38th Legislative District, to be used to improve the athletic fields at Kennedy Field.
The $657,000 grant is part of $80.7 million announced by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Green Acres Program for local governments and nonprofit land trusts to acquire open space, develop parks, and perform stewardship activities on parks throughout New Jersey. Funding comes from the Preserve New Jersey Act (P.L. 2016, C12), the enabling legislation for funding approved by voters in 2014, as well as loan and interest repayments, interest earnings, and previously approved projects that did not come to fruition.
“While most people think of state forests and parks when they think of Green Acres, the program also provides funding for recreation and this is an example of the kind of opportunities it provides residents,” said Assemblyman Eustace. “I congratulate New Milford on the grant award, which will give this project a major boost toward completion.”
“As the most densely populated state in the country, protecting New Jersey’s open spaces is vital to preserving our natural resources as well as the quality of life that our residents expect and deserve,” said Assemblyman Lagana. “This particular grant will help to provide a public recreation space in the community, giving families a place in their home town to enjoy.”
Located at the intersection of Raymond Woods Drive and Columbia Street, the planned improvements to Kennedy Field include installation of synthetic turf playing surface for multi-use fields, bleachers, a press box, other field equipment, permanent and temporary fencing, field lighting, a walking path around the field perimeter, utilities, and landscaping, according to the project description.
“Our open space funding program is critical to not only preserving farmland, open space, historic sites and acquiring flood-prone land in the state, but also to creating recreation areas that are so important to the quality of life in our communities,” said Senator Gordon. “The Legislature worked hard to get funding approved, and the voters overwhelmingly supported the initiative. This grant is great news for the residents of New Milford, and demonstrates the kind of projects our open space funding helps to make possible.”