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October 13, 2005

Contact: Alescia Marie Teel
(609) 984-1795

DEP Announces First Community Playgrounds Project in the City of Trenton
Laurel Place Park

(05/122) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell, Department of Corrections (DOC) Commissioner Devon Brown and Trenton Mayor Douglas H. Palmer today announced completion of the playground renovations at Laurel Place Park in the city of Trenton. The park was revitalized through a new initiative funded by DEP, in cooperation with DOC and the city of Trenton, to renovate local parks to expand outdoor recreation for New Jersey’s residents.

"Every child should know the simple joy of a safe playground, the shade of a tree and all of the good associated with a neighborhood park," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "This program represents a great example of state agencies and local government working together to improve the quality of our parks and recreation."

The DEP Green Acres program is providing new play structures for five urban municipalities with $250,000 of funding appropriated during fiscal year 2003. As part of this pilot program each municipality selected will identify a local park in need of new play equipment and prepare the site for equipment installation.

“With the leadership of Governor Codey and Mayor Doug Palmer, Community Playgrounds is enriching the lives of young people in the State’s urban communities,” said Commissioner Campbell. “The renovation of local, neighborhood parks will help foster a lifelong commitment to environmental stewardship by ensuring all residents experience quality recreation throughout New Jersey.”

The city of Trenton is the first of five municipalities to receive new playground equipment as part of the Community Playgrounds initiative. Laurel Place Park received additional renovations including new sidewalks, lighting and posts, trash receptacles, benches and the planting of 20 shade trees and 10 shrubs funded through the city of Trenton.

“The strong partnership between the city of Trenton and the State Department of Environmental Protection enables us to work together to achieve common goals in ways that truly improve people's lives,” said Mayor Palmer of Trenton. “Laurel Place Park shows our mutual commitment to neighborhood parks. This is a serious commitment for us - and we commend Commissioner Campbell and Commissioner Brown for their statewide commitment.”

The DOC Community Labor Assistance Program installs the park structures and equipment under the supervision of correction officers and equipment manufacturers.

An integral part of Community Playgrounds is the skill-building and community service opportunities that are afforded to inmates of the DOC Community Labor Assistance Program.

“I commend the efforts of DEP and the city of Trenton, who together with the DOC staff and inmates are revitalizing parks for New Jersey’s urban areas,” said Commissioner Brown. “I’m particularly proud of the offenders, who are providing a valuable service to the community while learning skills they can utilize to find employment once they are released. Furthermore, when citizens see the quality of the work the prisoners are doing, it sends out the positive message that offenders are restoring the neighborhoods that they previously violated.”

The DEP Green Acres Program preserves open space and significant historic resources, as well as expands park and recreation opportunities for public use and enjoyment. DEP’s Green Acres Program has protected over 586,687 acres of open space and created or enhanced hundreds of parks throughout New Jersey, including many in urban areas.


NJDEP Green Acres


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Last Updated: October 13, 2005