By: Follow South Jersey Staff
CAMDEN, N.J. — County and city officials have announced $1.5 million worth of upgrades to Dominick Andujar Park in North Camden. This expansion of the park, complete with a field of dreams, will honor the city’s youngest hero memorializing his legacy for perpetuity.
The County Board of Commissioners along with Camden City Mayor Victor Carstarphen and other community partners unveiled the project on Tuesday, June 20.
“This is a well-loved park here in North Camden and ensuring it’s in the best shape possible was a top priority for us,” Commissioner Jeff Nash, liaison to the Parks Department, said in a press release from the county. “The project is part of Camden County’s continued $21 million commitment to partner with Camden City to rehabilitate and expand green spaces here in the city. We are thrilled to have this park completed and we cannot wait for the community to enjoy this in its entirety.”
The most recent upgrades included removing soil contamination and other environmental concerns as well as installing a new baseball field, solar powered lights, new trees, benches and trash cans and a walkway connecting the northern and southern parts of the park making it one complete green space.
“This momentous occasion represents a collaborative effort and a testament to the power of partnerships. Together with the Camden County Board of Commissioners, Camden Community Partnership, Camden Redevelopment Agency, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, the New Jersey Environmental Development Authority, and the US Environmental Protection Agency, we have transformed this beloved park into a haven of inspiration and unity,” Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen said. “Dominick Andujar Park stands not only as a tribute to a young hero who fearlessly protected his family but also as a symbol of our community’s resilience and unwavering spirit. It serves as a place where dreams come alive and where the bonds of friendship and family grow stronger. I am immensely proud of our collective commitment to revitalizing our green spaces and providing our youth and families with an environment that fosters growth, joy, and togetherness. This project embodies our vision of a vibrant and thriving Camden, where every resident has access to safe and beautiful recreational areas.”
The newest upgrades were made possible through funding provided by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Projection and the New Jersey Environmental Development Authority, that allocated $478,689 to the project. The US Environmental Protection Agency also contributed $243,800 in grant money.
“This new park space in North Camden complements existing space, by expanding the park with new amenities, green space and a field to support the community with additional recreation space, while making both sections into one seamless park,” Dana Redd, president and CEO of Camden Community Partnership, stated. “Camden Community Partnership is honored to play a role in the design and construction of this beautiful park that will serve to honor the life and heroism of Dominick Andujar for generations to come.”
The park honors Dominick Andujar, who lost his life at six years old protecting his sister from an assailant in 2012. He gave his life protecting his family and now his courage will be memorialized for eternity in the neighborhood he lived in so no one will forget his selfless act to save his sister.
“I am so grateful to be here today as we celebrate the opening of this amazing park, where my son Dominick, was able to play baseball with his friends” said Debbie Burgos, Dominick Andujar’s mother. “Thank you to everyone who put their heart and soul into making this park and field a fun and safe place for children to play the sport that my son loved so much. The lion cub symbolizes courage, strength, and bravery which Dominick displayed at such a young age and will continue to help honor his memory.”
Improvements were made to the northern portion of the park, following the opening of the southern portion in 2021.
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