(Camden, NJ) – The Freeholder Board, City of Camden and Cooper’s Ferry Partnership are working together to renovate and recreate 4th and Washington Park. A complete revitalization of the public park began this week and will be finalized in the spring.
“We know that clean and green open spaces are one of the most effective ways that we can improve the quality of life for residents throughout the county,” said Freeholder Jeff Nash, liaison to the Camden County Park System. “This new recreational space will have an outsized impact on this neighborhood, giving families and children a place to convene and play. Ostensibly, this project will create what is commonly referred to as a third place for the neighborhood to meet in outside of work and school.”
This approximately $1.4 million project includes a new and expanded playground and sprayground, fitness equipment, reconstructed basketball and handball courts with sports lighting, a graded lawn for sports practices and active recreation, a walking loop, new fencing around the entire park, a new pavilion with seating, lighting, picnic tables, benches, and landscaping.
Mayor Frank Moran talked about the importance of the project and the partnership with the county and neighborhood to bring this renovation to fruition.
“This project highlights the City and County’s commitment to strengthening Camden’s neighborhoods,” Moran said. “I applaud the county for making this $5 million investment in the City’s park system. I am thankful for all of our partners but particularly the young people and neighborhood for their input to ensure this project meets and exceed the needs of the community. I, along with our residents, look forward to celebrating the park re-opening in the spring.”
The project is also supported by a $100,000 contribution by Jaws Youth Playbook, the foundation of former Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski, for the renovation of the playground. Jaworski has been a key stakeholder for creating safe, healthy places for kids to play and supports the Camden Health & Athletic Association.
“Jaws Youth Playbook is thrilled to contribute to the improvements to 4th and Washington Park,” Jaworski said. “This project will directly advance our mission to improve the overall health of at-risk youth in the Greater Philadelphia region through improved access to safe and high quality places to play.”
4th and Washington Park is the second of four County-funded park improvement projects in the City of Camden to move into construction. Last month, the county successfully opened the first of these projects at Alberta Woods Park.
Nash continued about the need for community input on park and open space renovations from members of the neighborhood.
“We worked with the Lanning Square West Residents Association and KIPP Cooper Norcross Academy- Lanning Square to develop the park renovation plans, but we need the public to keep coming back to us and letting us know what works and what doesn’t,” Nash said. “We want to make sure that the individuals living in this neighborhood are involved in the process and that they have a voice in how t heir community changes.”