Lawrence Township applies for grant to replace bleachers, pathway in Central Park

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LEA KAHN/STAFF
Lawrence Township officials are seeking a federal grant to cover the costs of installing artificial turf on Zimmer Field at Central Park on Eggerts Crossing Road.

Lawrence Township officials are applying for a $100,000 state grant to replace the bleachers at Zimmer Field at Central Park, along with a new path to the athletic field.

The Lawrence Township Council approved a resolution to apply for a Local Recreation Improvement Grant from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs at its Feb. 6 meeting.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $142,585, according to the grant application.

Zimmer Field is located in Central Park, off Eggerts Crossing Road. The field is used by travel sports teams and by the Lawrence Township Recreation Department teams for soccer, lacrosse and field hockey.

The spectator area at Zimmer Field has not been upgraded in many years, the grant application said, noting “the bleachers are outdated and they are not accessible for all users.”

The new bleachers would be lower to the ground than the existing bleachers. They would be anchored to a concrete pad.

The pathway to reach Zimmer Field and the bleachers from the parking lot is a grass and dirt path. It is difficult to use for spectators who need mobility devices and for families with baby strollers, the application said.

The grass and dirt path would be replaced with a paved path from the parking lot to the bleachers and athletic field. It would be more convenient and fully accessible, providing more opportunities for residents and visitors to attend events, the grant application said.

Central Park is in the middle of Lawrence Township and draws visitors and users from hundreds of homes within easy walking and biking distance, according to the application.

The park, which is more than 100 acres, includes an inclusive playground for children of all abilities, plus sports fields and walking paths, officials said.

If the grant application is approved, the project will enhance and upgrade the area into quality outdoor recreational space that would be accessible and useable to all residents and and visitors, officials said.