2019 – Funds from the Whole Foods Market grant received in 2018 were utilized to provide health and wellness programs at the Park commission, and also used to fund trail improvements at the Environmental Education Center. Kayaking and canoeing supplies were funded at the EEC. The Foundation continued to support the TR Program by awarding scholarships to TR program participants to enable families who can’t afford program fees. The Foundation supported Photos with Santa in which a sensory-friendly environment helped calm anxieties for children with Aspergers who can’t visit a large crowded mall and wait in line. This program allowed families to capture the memory of the holiday season.
The Park Foundation supported Leonard J. Buck Garden by purchasing new donation boxes, deer exclosure fencing, new signs, and funding for much needed tree work. The Foundation also sponsored the plants to be donated on Arbor Day in the spring, as well as sponsored activities at the Annual Rose Day Festival in Colonial Park. Foundation members were on site at Duke Island Park for the ribbon-cutting of the new playground.
Through two of the Park Foundation’s on-going programs, four families and friends chose to honor loved ones through a purchase of five bricks that were placed at the entranceway of TD Bank Ball Park, and 10 families and friends purchased 11 benches placed through the parks to pay tribute to a loved one. The Somerset County Park Foundation served as the official sponsor of “Autograph Sundays”, a Somerset Patriots program featured at all home games played on Sundays throughout the 2019 season. The reverse side of the autograph poster listed all of the Park Commission spring and summer special events, programs, lessons, and tournaments, reaching an audience of 5,000 children. Throughout the past 15 years, the valuable financial assistance provided by the Somerset County Park Foundation to enhance Park Commission programs, services, and facilities totals more than $1.5million.
When you support the Somerset County Park Foundation, you are making an investment in the quality of the life of the citizens of Somerset County to enjoy their parks and open spaces, promoting wellness through experiencing nature and the outdoors, and contributing to making a difference in improving programs and facilities offered to the community. We can’t do it without you!