By: Follow South Jersey Staff
CAMDEN, N.J. — The Cramer Hill Waterfront Park was officially opened on Tuesday, November 30 with the help of federal, state, county, and local officials along with Governor Phil Murphy to cut the ribbon.
Located at the former Harrison Avenue landfill, the 62-acre site hosts amenities such as a fishing plaza, hiking and biking trails, a kayak launch, picnic area, playground, a sensory garden, and shoreline observation areas.
The multi-million dollar project also offers views of downtown Camden, the Camden Waterfront, the Delaware River, Petty’s Island, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge, and the Philadelphia skyline.
“This park represents equity and justice in the city,” County Commissioner Jeff Nash said in a press release from the county. “Residents are no longer exposed to a space where crime thrived, where illegal dumping took place daily and where parents had to keep their kids away from this landfill. Today, this greenspace rivals any park in the state and represents the kind of investment and change that Camden deserves.”
The project, funded by the State of New Jersey, focused on protecting the shoreline, closing the landfill, restoring natural resources and constructing the new park.
“Thanks to the collaborative work by the community and every level of government, the residents are reconnected with the waterfront through this remarkable park,” Congressman Donald Norcross said.
Part of the park’s makeover included stabilizing more than 3,000 feet of shoreline along the river, expanding the existing freshwater wetlands and preserving wooded areas that will serve as forage habitats for a variety of wildlife. The Department of Environmental Protection also planted 375,000 trees and installed bald eagle perch poles and turtle basking docks.
“I grew up in Cramer Hill and I could never have imagined the transformation of this former landfill into such a beautiful community asset,” Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen said. “The park is not only a $48 million investment in our neighborhoods, it’s an investment in the quality of life for all of our residents and a symbol of revitalization for the community.”
“This is another sign of change in Cramer Hill,” Carstarphen said. “I believe it will be a catalyst for additional development and will help to compliment the adjacent Kroc Center, the new Mastery School, Action Pak and the $35 million rehabilitation of Ablett Village across the street. The park will be a place of recreation for future generations and all ages.”
“Moving forward, I hope the city and the county can develop programming that gets as many kids onto this property as possible to stoke their imagination and curiosity,” Nash added.
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