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How Can Camden County Make Cooper River Park Better?

County officials want the public's input on proposed improvements to county's most widely used park.

Camden County officials want the public's opinion on a $5 million plan to improve Cooper River Park, the county's most widely used park. 

County Freeholder Jeffrey Nash will host a town-hall meeting about the plan from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 11 in the ballroom of the Camden County Boathouse on North Park Drive in Pennsauken. 

The plan for the 347-acre park includes landscaping and plantings, boardwalks, pathways and docks providing greater access to the Cooper River, as well as many more improvements and amenities, county officials said in a release. 

“I want Camden County residents to weigh in on what we believe is a terrific plan to improve Cooper River Park,” Nash said in the release. “I will give an overview and then ask landscape architect, Joe Cairone, who has produced the park plan for the county,  to go into the details of the improvements. These will be done over time and result in a much fuller, more enjoyable experience with expanded views of the river.

"The County’s mission is to improve the existing facilities to enable a phased, flexible and sustainable park of international caliber, while protecting the river and the park by promoting environmental awareness and creating impactful riparian buffers," Nash said. 

“I know how much our residents love Cooper River Park and welcome their thoughts and input."

After an overview and presentation, a public question-and-answer period will follow.

A resolution on the parks plan will be on the agenda for the freeholders' meeting Thursday, April 19 in Voorhees.

Future Old Angry Italian Guy April 08, 2012 at 11:27 AM
Oh, boy! How to make the CR area better? They can plant, build, and renovate until they run out of $$$ but the trash issue will remain the biggest impact. Find a way to lessen the amount of trash and the park will be much more pleasant.
Kenneth Allendoerfer April 08, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Trash is, by far, the biggest problem with Cooper River Park. After a heavy rain and the inevitable flood, the park is covered with plastic trash of all kinds. It does get cleaned up in a week or two (which is too long), but the bigger question is: why is there so much trash in the river to begin with? Spend the money on enforcing and strengthening our disposal laws and on stopping the pollution at its source. Identify similar parks with less trash--and there are many such parks around the country--and determine what they're doing that we're not.
john q public April 09, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Not enough trash cans, virtually NO running water on Collingswood/Haddon Twp side of river. Shade trees around ballfield on Collingswood side, porta-pots put in shaded areas instead of direct sun. More picnic tables. More parking on Collingswood/Haddon Twp side.
Shirley April 09, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Why are there no public toilets on the Collingswood side of the river? Portable toilets may be fine for construction sites; toilets with handwashing facilities are what's needed at Cooper River. Please don't tell me it's impossible to do. Public toilets at recreational sites exist in other countries.
Susan April 10, 2012 at 02:14 AM
It won't matter what we suggest if the county goes ahead with their new Metro division police plan with Camden! The flood gates of the criminal activity will spread like fire and the County Freeholders won't even admit their mistake!
Andrew Selzer April 10, 2012 at 12:38 PM
At the least some of those new eco toliets would work much better than a spot-a-pot. Of course the real solutin is a real restroom on the south side. Better trash cans that the birds and other animals (squirrels, raccons) can't get into would help. How about an area designated for kite flying?
Susan April 10, 2012 at 01:35 PM
I am seriously concerned about the Metro Police Plan for Camden. If they dismantle their police department and make them under the control of the county, so too will the lawsuits and headaches come with it. The County residents should be given a vote on something this serious before it is activated!
Joseph Forrest April 10, 2012 at 04:18 PM
@Susan, I wouldn't go that far. As someone who lived in Camden for 7 years - albeit the waterfront - I can tell you that most Camden people (the ones you're specifically referencing) don't leave Camden. Ever. It's an inner-city cultural thing that I really don't feel like explaining on a blog. But I promise you that a flurry of crazed black and hispanic folks weilding guns and knives, won't bust down the doors of sleepy collingswood and haddon twp. Contrary to what the local police unions want you to believe. And yes, I oppose the metro division. The county dems are a bunch of losers who abuse thier power.
Joseph Forrest April 10, 2012 at 04:19 PM
@Susan - then do what white people do best: organize a rally or public meeting. So far this issue has largely been contained as a "Camden matter" and most county residents have turned a blind eye to the issue.
Joseph Forrest April 10, 2012 at 04:20 PM
By the time they're done paying their friends, out-of-work family members, consultants, designers, and themselves...$100,000 will actually go towards the park.
c savage May 11, 2013 at 10:32 PM
an easily searched and accessible, and up to date, calendar of events. i want to know what's going on - i might not come for a walk if there's a huge crowd, but not knowing has more often than not made me choose NOT to come. and...a plus is it might remind me of something i wanted to see or participate in (and frequently forget until i read how great it was!) or entice me to try something new. oh, and the trash

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