It Takes a Village to Build a Park
A challenge for all projects, and especially those in small towns with limited resources, is to make the most of our grant dollars through public and private partnerships. Our community leaders have been very proactive in collaborating with other communities, organizations, government institutions, and private industry to provide value to the taxpayer for the least cost. The best example is how the property upon which the walking trail is planned was purchased. The purchase involved the support of the property owners, including the municipality of Upper Pittsgrove Township, the Elmer Little League organization, and funding through the Salem County’s Open Space program and the State of New Jersey Green Acres and Farmland Preservation programs (see blog picture for groundbreaking ceremony courtesy of the Elmer Times). The first project at the park was the installation of a new softball field that was donated by Atlantic City Electric. Many individuals and groups contributed to the effort to preserve this property that will benefit not only the Borough of Elmer, but everyone in the greater Elmer area and Salem County. The New Jersey Healthy Communities and Salem Health and Wellness Foundation grant funds for the walking trail provide the opportunity not only to complete the walking trail but to also forge more collaboration with public and private institutions to develop the park for all to enjoy.
About the Grantee
Elmer is a small town in rural Salem County that has historically served as a hub of activity for the surrounding farm community. It has a hospital, churches, banks, restaurants, a library, grocery, drug store, dollar store, gift & flower shops, medical & dental services, accountants & lawyers, salons, gas stations, & a lumber yard all packed into one square mile.