In 2006, CFP was asked by Save Our Waterfront (SOW), a coalition of individuals who live, work or worship in the North Camden neighborhood, to provide consulting and technical services related to planning and outreach for an updated neighborhood plan in North Camden. CFP helped SOW to secure funding from the Camden Redevelopment Agency, the Fund for Hew Jersey, the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs, and the Wachovia Regional Foundation, to undertake a community planning process and to hire a planning and outreach coordinator. CFP worked with SOW and other community stakeholders, including Respond, Inc., State Street Housing Corporation, Camden Lutheran Housing, Inc., My Brother’s Keeper, Grace Lutheran Church, Hopeworks ‘N Camden, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Creating Opportunities for Life Together in North Camden, and Camden GreenWays, Inc., to select a consultant to develop an updated community-driven neighborhood plan for North Camden.
At the same time, with funding from the William Penn Foundation, CFDA hired a consultant to develop a conceptual plan for a waterfront linear park in North Camden. The neighborhood plan and waterfront park plan were developed on a parallel timeline and were closely coordinated so that they came together as a unified plan. Both plans were based on the same set of assumptions about where the park delineation line is, what the character of the adjacent proposed development will be and how the street grid will be extended from the existing neighborhood to the park.
The completion of the North Camden Neighborhood Plan and Waterfront Park Plan was celebrated in a final public meeting in April 2008. The plans, together under one cover, were presented and adopted by Camden Planning Board in August 2008. Together, the plans present an extremely compelling vision for North Camden’s future; a community reconnected to the river, with a revitalized core, a green ribbon of parkland along its length and significant volumes of new housing development in between the two.
After completion of the plan, CFP assisted SOW and Camden Lutheran Housing, Inc. in developing a version of the plan that fits the guidelines of the NJDCA Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit (NRTC) program. In February, 2009 NJDCA approved the plan, which makes plan implementation projects eligible to receive up to $1 million a year in funding. In 2010, four North Camden organizations received $1,00,000 from the NRTC program.
The Plan received an Honor Award from the NJ Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a 2009 Smart Growth Award for Participatory Neighborhood Planning by NJ Futures.
In 2011, CFP entered into an agreement with Camden County to manage the design of the first portion of the North Camden Waterfront Park. Using funds from the Camden County Open Space Trust Fund, CFP, together with Camden County, selected T&M Associates to design the segment, from Pyne Poynt Park west to the Von Morris property. Based on feedback and input received at a community meeting and several steering committee meetings, T&M Associates first developed a conceptual plan for the park and is now preparing preliminary design documents. The park is expected to include a multi-purpose waterfront greenway trail, a boat launch and fishing pier, picnic areas and river overlooks.
In coordination with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, T&M Associates is currently completing the required environmental investigations, including the preliminary assessment and site investigation, and developing preliminary design plans. Cooper’s Ferry expects to complete the design and permitting of the waterfront park segment in 2013.
To date, CFP has secured $315,700 in funding for the construction of the waterfront park from the NJDEP Recreational Trails Program and USEPA.