The Board of Commissioners joined nonprofits, advocates for public lands and mayors from throughout the county to unveil a $100 million plan to revitalize the county’s 24 parks, conservation areas and waterways.
“Parks Alive 2025 is the largest investment into the county’s public parks since the Roosevelt Administration and the WPA,” said Commissioner Jeff Nash, the liaison to the Camden County Parks Department. “These projects will address a variety of concerns from environmental issues to improving accessibility and more. By the time these projects are complete, our county’s parks will be a place for everyone, from every walk of life to enjoy.”
Altogether, Parks Alive 2025 initiative is a $56 million investment, with more than $51 million dedicated to construction costs and $5 million for planning and design. The remainder of the investment is rooted in the $25 million water quality project at Newton Lake Park currently being completed, a $3 million investment for an 80-acre open space parcel in Winslow and a $10 million link trail that stretches from Camden City to the Atlantic County border in Winslow Township. In addition, $6 million has been set aside for park maintenance and purchasing.
All money and resources for this array of projects will be paid for through existing funding and no new levies will be created to finance these enhancements. The current funding mechanisms consist of the county open space funds, federal and state grants, funding from the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, William Penn Foundation, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, private donors, New Jersey Infrastructure Bank and capital bonds from the Camden County Parks.
Projects have been broken down into four categories; infrastructure, trails/paving, waterways and recreation.
“Not only are these projects beneficial for the residents and visitors who access our parks, but we know that the health and welfare of our overall community is dependent on preserved and maintained green spaces and clean waterways,” Nash continued. “That’s why our partners from the Trust for Public Lands, Upstream Alliance, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and Tri-County Sustainability are here with us advocating for this generational investment in our 5,200 acres of parkland and open space.”