County Executive Brian Hughes presents a check for $250,000 in "Mercer at Play" grant monies at Tuesday nightFull size photo

Pictured from left are Councilman Alan Rosenberg, Deputy Mayor Walter Daniels, County Executive Brian Hughes, Councilman Perry Shapiro, Mayor Janice Mironov, Councilman Hector Duke, and Councilwoman Marsha Weinstein.

Contact: Julie Willmot
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TRENTON, N.J. -At last night's East Windsor Township Council meeting, Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes presented East Windsor Mayor Janice Mironov and members of the Council with a check for $250,000 to finance construction of soccer and lacrosse fields at Disbrow Park.

"I can't stress enough how important it is for local government to act decisively and creatively to provide recreation resources for children in this County," said Hughes. "When I was growing up not too far from here, my elementary school didn't even have a playground."

The funds were granted as part of the County's "Mercer at Play" program, which provides capital funding for construction or rehabilitation of active recreation facilities. East Windsor applied jointly for the grant with Hightstown Borough. Mercer County has encouraged municipalities and boroughs to work cooperatively on Mercer at Play projects because joint projects require participants to match only 50 percent of the total funding as opposed to 100 percent for individual municipal projects.

Hughes cited the importance of active recreation not only as a way for children to develop good physical activity habits and safeguard their health, but also as an important cornerstone of young people's development.

"By giving kids and teens a place to play sports and learn about teamwork and sportsmanship, East Windsor and Hightstown are making an investment in the future of its young people," Hughes said.  "Kids who engage in active play learn how to make healthy choices in all areas of life."

Mayor Mironov thanked the County for its continued support of active recreation in its constituent communities. "I'm thrilled that East Windsor will once again work with Mercer County to offer a new amenity for residents, and grateful that the County saw fit to give us substantial financial assistance in building these fields. We're all very excited to get going with this project," she said.

Through the Mercer at Play active recreation matching grant program, the County has provided a total of $1.5 million in funding to date for municipalities wishing to create new recreation facilities in their communities. Projects receiving funding or that have grants pending include a skate park in Ewing Township; basketball courts in several municipalities; playground refurbishment in Princeton Borough and Township; and an ambitious joint project between Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Township, Lawrence Township, and Pennington Borough to acquire and develop the Twin Pines Airport site for recreational use.