Public recreation grants available – Apply to the Choate Fund by April 30th

Above: Last year, the Choate funds were awarded for projects that included disposal units for fishing lines and ADA compliant surfacing for a refurbished playground. What recreation resources do you think it should fund for Southborough this year? (photos L-R from Facebook by Southborough Trails Committee and Recreation)

Have a public recreation project you think deserves funding? Applications for Choate Fund Recreation Grants are now being accepted for 2021.

Over 100 years ago, a Southborough’s Charles F. Choate established a fund to benefit the town. He wanted his estate to support recreation projects, particularly for young people.

The fund continues to give, these days through annual grants decided upon by the heads of Southborough’s main school systems: public schools, St. Mark’s School, and Fay School.

Approximately $4,500 is again available in this year’s fund.

Here are the details:

  • The grants are restricted to public recreation capital projects (not operating costs).
  • Applications should include: 1) a brief statement of purpose; 2) a proposed budget; and 3) a description of the intended beneficiaries.
  • Completed paperwork should be submitted by April 30th to: John C. Warren, Head of School, St. Mark’s School, 25 Marlboro Road, Southborough, MA 01772.

Proposals will be reviewed by the Choate Fund Trustees*. They hope to make their final decision by May 31, 2020.

Last year, $4,500 was split between awards to the Southborough Trails Committee, the Southborough Library, and the Southborough Recreation Department. Below are the details:

Trails Committee Projects

The Trails Committee was awarded $1,442. A portion was to purchase four wooden signs for trailhead map kiosks. The remainder was used for the installation of two microfilament fishing line recycling receptacles.

fishing line recycling collection unitLast spring, the Committee discussed their dismay at the excessive amount of fishing line debris they found discarded near the Town’s reservoirs. They came up with a solution. Following the successful application for and use of the Choate Grant, the Committee explained on Facebook:

Fishing line can entangle and kill wildlife; it is not biodegradable and can remain in the environment for over 600 years! Let’s do our part and keep our water and landfills free of this debris.

Recreation Project 

Playground near Town House from Southborough Rec FacebookLast year, Recreation replaced the playground equipment by the Town House.  The Choate Grant awarded $1,100 for the installation of needed ADA surfacing.

Library Project

$2,800 was awarded to the Southborough Library to fund the purchase of an outdoor solar charging bench to enable the charging of mobile devices. The bench will be installed by Public Works. This week, the Library Trustees discussed first fleshing out a landscaping plan to ensure that placement of the bench and other items on the property make sense.

In 2019, the fund helped support a project to bring a Rugby program to Southborough and paid for an outdoor chess set at the Southborough Library.

Other past grants have funding includes support for the 9/11 Memorial Field, clearing of walking trails, an after-school field hockey program, outdoor activity areas for Woodward and Finn Schools, and lighting improvements at the Choate facility for the baseball diamond and soccer fields in front of Woodward.

*Choate Fund Trustees are currently: Superintendent of Schools, Southborough and Northborough, Gregory Martineau; Head of School, St. Mark’s School, John Warren; and Head of Fay School, Robert Gustavson.

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2 years ago

Do capital projects need to be things or can they be programs?
I would like to see a mandatory dog training program that includes how to walk and what to do with your dog crap. Obviously this program is for the owners who are dragged down the street by their new 60 pound puppy and who didn’t bring the hazmat tools to pick up the poop. Super rich dog poop is not as good for the environment as most people think. It also stinks to have it on your lawn or by your driveway. Bagging it and tossing the bags when you think no one is looking is not cool either…
And if a physical thing needs to be purchased to ground this program then I propose poop trash cans on the trails and folks who are caught violating the poop laws get assigned collection duty.
Are there ever any capital improvement plans that don’t have operating costs down the road? Do they then become a burden to Public Works or simply forgotten after a few years?

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