Public Recreation grant funding available

Apply for a Choate Grant by April 30th

Above: Over the years, the Choate Grant has supported many recreation projects in Southborough. If you have a project you’d like to see funded, now is the time to act. (images cropped from photos previously contributed or posted to Facebook by past grant recipients or grant administrators)

Have a public recreation project you think deserves funding? The Choate Fund Trustees are looking for applicants for this year’s round of awards.

Over 100 years ago, 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 $5,000 is available in this year’s fund.

The grants can’t be used for operating costs. (The application indicates awards should be to use for capital costs. But last year’s grants covered use for contracted services for events.)

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 31st.

Last year, funds were split between awards to:

  • Little Free Library from FacebookThe Southborough Public Library for a Little Free Library — the location by the Main Street entrance gives patrons a place to donate books 24/7, and get books whenever they want, including during closed hours.  
  • An Eagle Scout project for a community stargazing platform on Trottier Middle School’s campus 
  • Southborough Recreation Department for outdoor Basketball Hoops — to replace two broken hoops at the Mooney Athletic Complex next to Finn School (the installation will take place this spring)
  • the Southborough Trails Committee for:
    • Installing interpretive signage to share Southborough’s history and to educate trail users about the native flora and fauna**
    • The Trails Committee's Forest Bathing walk in May was capped off by a Forest Tea Party. In October they held a History Walk on the Peninsula Trail. Both were supported by a Choate Grant (photos cropped from Facebook)A trailside bench (to be installed this year)
    • Hosting series of educational nature walks led by seasoned professionals and supplies for related activities 

*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.

**I checked in with the Trails Committee since in 2022 signs that educated the public about the importance of picking up dog waste was credited as funded by a Choate Grant. It turns out that was under the 2021 grant funded initiative led by the Stewardship Committee.

For the Interpretive signs under the 2022 grant, the Committee attended a MassTrails Conference about designing interpretative signs. They now need to decide the location and whether to focus on history or nature and the environment.

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