After years of disinvestment, Camden’s community leadership is refocusing efforts to expand and improve parks and open spaces across the city. Core to creating a cohesive, equitable parks system is an overall operating plan that guides robust programming and long-term maintenance of civic assets. The Camden team’s public-private partnership is designed to provide for ongoing maintenance that will stand the test of time, providing needed investment in the city’s civic assets, in service to a healthier and more equitable city.
In 1830, the naturalist John James Audubon described Camden as a series of villages connected by green space and natural corridors. Design is under way for a new connection for the community: a 6-mile multi-purpose trail connecting parks and neighborhoods, as well as an 8-mile water trail along the tidal Cooper and Delaware Rivers that will open up local waterways for new experiences by residents.
At the heart of these trails is Cramer Hill Waterfront Park, a 62-acre former landfill converted into a breathtaking $50 million neighborhood park, an example of the city’s commitment to environmental justice. This park—and the many other recently opened parks—have significant annual maintenance costs. The Camden Civic Commons team, along with Camden Community Partnership, Inc. and partner organizations, will develop a long-term plan to maintain, preserve and protect Camden parks, in perpetuity.
Through their robust public-private partnership and an inclusive engagement process, the team aspires to create equitable and sustainable public spaces that allow current and future generations of Camden residents to enjoy nature and reap the social, environmental and economic benefits of civic infrastructure across the city.