Residents, Businesses Can Sponsor Parks

The jungle gym at Harfield Park near the Jackson Justice Complex park is one of the township’s many recreation facilities. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  JACKSON – A recently adopted township ordinance established a sponsorship program for parks, playgrounds and sports recreation facilities in the community.

  In a unanimous vote, the council approved an ordinance that included a fee structure for a commemorative bench and sponsorship program allowing for residents to sponsor one or more of Jackson’s many parks.

  Councilman Andrew Kern, who serves as the council’s liaison to the township’s parks, said he has been looking at what recreation facilities need to be improved or upgraded.

  “I started this endeavor last year when we created the account to hold designated funds aside from general funds. With this ordinance, residents and businesses will be able to sponsor playgrounds, fields and courts and to have a plaque with their name on it at the entrance,” Kern said.

  Kern added, “most importantly this program will help raise funds for parks and playgrounds without taxpayer funds.”

  Monies collected from the new sponsorship program will be directed to the established fund. The ordinance outlines how organizations and individuals can sponsor parks within Jackson over a two-year period with subsequent annual sponsorships.

This park bench shows an example of what the sponsorship plaque will look like in relation to the new program. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  Those who sponsor a park or playground will be identified by a sign. The funds would be applied to the cost of any projects that were designed to maintain the parks and playground equipment, recreational facilities, picnic tables, various equipment needs and benches.

  These donations would not be credited toward municipal or county property tax but they would be considered income tax deductible for sponsors. The fees would be paid to the Jackson Township Parks and Playgrounds Fund.

  An entire park or a portion of it could be sponsored and would include playground areas, concession stands, dog parks, walking trails, pavilions or any of the township’s various sports areas.

The idea of honoring those who have been involved with supporting and creating township recreation facilities is not new but similar sponsorship plaques like this sign near the township’s Jungle Gym facility. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

  The park benches would sport a commemorative plaque adhered to them and the cost to dedicate each new bench would run around $1,100 in addition to the cost of the bench itself.

  If you want to sponsor an entire park, the fee is $5,000 but would include having a large sign based at the main entrance to identify the sponsor for two years’ time. After that the fee for that sponsor would be $2,500 yearly.

  A dog park sponsorship or a playground park for two years for the first time is $2,500 according to the ordinance with the fee being $1,250 annually afterwards.

  Sponsorship for a sports field, basketball court or a trail, which would also include the posting of a sign featuring the name of the sponsor at the entry point, would be $1,500 for the first two year while the cost afterward each year would run $750.