CONTACT:  Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137


TRENTON, N.J.—Mercer County Brian M. Hughes has announced that Robbinsville is the latest municipality to benefit from the Mercer at Play program as it is awaiting freeholder approval on a $226,700 County grant to create football fields at Meadowbrook Park.

The football fields mark the third Mercer at Play project in Robbinsville, the most of any township in Mercer County. Hughes created the unique matching grant program in 2006 to encourage municipalities to team up to create or rehabilitate active recreation areas like athletic fields and parks and receive a matching grant amount from the County.

The program has been a remarkable success as Mercer County has distributed $6.3 million in the past three years under Mercer at Play across all 13 municipalities, Hughes said.

“What we envisioned was a program in which municipalities did not compete for funding for recreation projects, but actually discussed what recreation needs they shared across their borders and partnered toward those goals,” said Hughes.

“The response from our towns has been overwhelming. It’s a huge step forward for our towns to maximize their efforts through sharing. In addition to fostering healthier lifestyles for our residents, these projects make more efficient use of taxpayer money and initiate a culture of cooperation between towns.”

Through Mercer at Play, municipalities can seek funding for outdoor recreational facilities such as playing fields, playgrounds, skate parks, or walking trails, and indoor uses such as swimming pools, gymnasiums, or weight rooms. In addition to building or refurbishing recreational facilities, municipalities can also apply for funding to purchase land on which an indoor recreation facility would be built later, Hughes said.

Townships that submit a joint proposal are required to match just half the total cost of the project. Municipalities that file for individual projects must match 100 percent of the cost. Funding for the program is available only to municipalities, although they can partner with a third party such as a private non-profit organization. The operation and maintenance of Mercer at Play projects are municipal responsibilities.

“Improving the health and wellness of our residents has been one of my key priorities as Mercer County Executive. We can do even more, and Mercer at Play is one way we are achieving a healthier Mercer County,” Hughes said.

Projects funded under Mercer at Play have been diverse and innovative, ranging from bocce courts in Robbinsville to a skate park in Princeton Township to a four-township project to redevelop 51 acres of the former Twin Pines Airport in Lawrence into athletic fields.

In total, Mercer County as allocated $6,297,052 in matching grants for 18 projects. Below is a complete list of Mercer at Play projects:

Applicant

Award

Project

Hightstown/East Windsor

$250,000

Playing fields, Disbrow Park

Hightstown/East Windsor

$750,000

Playing fields, Disbrow Park

Ewing

$81,268

Pool enhancements, Ewing Senior & Community Center

Ewing

$418,532

Pool enhancements, Ewing Senior & Community Center

Hamilton

$500,000

Playground rehabilitation and playing field lights

Hopewell Borough

$16,710

Basketball courts and Hopewell Railroad Mini-Park

Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Twp., Lawrence, Pennington Borough

$1,966,582

Acquisition & Phase I Development of playing fields on former Twin Pines airport site

Pennington Borough

$16,709

New playground equipment, Kunkel Park

Princeton Borough

$41,673

Potts Park renovation project

Princeton Township

$190,667

Hilltop skate park

Princeton Twp./Princeton Borough

$767,660

Greenway Meadows Park (synthetic turf)

Robbinsville

$28,775

Tantum Park tennis court rehabilitation

Robbinsville

$41,776

Bocce courts expansion, Senior Center

Robbinsville

$226,700

Football fields at Meadowbrook Park (pending freeholder approval)

Trenton

$250,000

East Ward Park

Trenton

$250,000

Calhoun Street field renovations

West Windsor

$51,500

Nine basketball courts, West Windsor Community Park

West Windsor

$448,500

Development of Duck Pond Park on Meadow Road (pending freeholder approval)