Safe Routes Scoop

The Camden GreenWay:
Linking People and Nature

 

The Camden GreenWay can be viewed simply as a multi-use pathway running through a city on the verge of revitalization, but it is so much more. The GreenWay is a catalyst for the restoration and creation of local parks, for physical activity and for a much-needed transportation alternative for those who do not drive. In addition, the GreenWay is a tool for Camden’s economic redevelopment, helping to draw private investment to the city and linking its residents to neighboring towns, Philadelphia, and beyond.

 

The Origins of the GreenWay
The origins of the Camden GreenWay trace back to 1993 when local residents came together to form the Camden Greenways Working Group.  Later renamed Camden Greenways, Inc. (CGI), the group’s initial goal was to bring together three neighborhoods that shared concerns about open space issues, particularly with land along the Delaware and Cooper Rivers. CGI’s work later evolved into a greenway plan for Camden.(source: CGI.)

 

The GreenWay found a major ally in the Cooper’s Ferry Development Association (CFDA.) According to Jacob Gordon, a CGI board member and CFDA employee, supporting the GreenWay helps to further the mission of CFDA, which was founded as a non-profit corporation in 1984.

 

“CFDA’s mission is to coherently plan

and implement high-quality urban redevelopment projects in order to help replenish Camden’s depleted tax base and to create a significant number of jobs for city residents,” Gordon said. “CFDA also works to improve Camden’s environment as a place in which to live, to work, to visit and to invest. With local community groups creating neighborhood plans and waterfront parks plans in areas like the North Camden and Cramer Hill neighborhoods, there was a need for a comprehensive trail location plan which could ensure that the trails in all these individual projects connected to each other and linked to other important locations and destinations.” 

 

Working with these groups, CFDA helped to combine the individual trails into one comprehensive greenway plan.

 

In June 2008, CFDA and CGI, along with the City and County of Camden and the State of New Jersey, published the report, Camden 2010: The Camden Active Trail Network.  The report details the “why” and “where” for the GreenWay, running through the City of Camden, out into Camden County, and into neighboring counties as well.

 

The goals of a completed Camden GreenWay, according to the report, are to:

  • Increase non-motorized mobility by reducing car dependency
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