Camden Celebrates Opening of Von Nieda Park’s New Sprayground
Recently, Camden County Freeholder William F. Moen, Jr., Camden City Council President Francisco “Frank” Moran, Camden City Councilperson Luis A. Lopez, Ph.D., and members of Camden’s Cramer Hill community joined Robert MacLean, Senior Vice President-Eastern Division, American Water/President, New Jersey American Water, and representatives from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and Cooper’s Ferry Partnership (CFP) to celebrate the completion and opening of a new sprayground in Von Nieda Park.
“Continued enhancements to Camden’s parks and play spaces improve the quality of life for residents, strengthen our City’s neighborhoods, and preserve and enhance our environment for generations to come,” said Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd. “This sprayground is just another shining example of positive change that occurs when people come together with a shared passion and vision for our City.”
As the largest park in the Cramer Hill neighborhood, County-owned Von Nieda Park is a popular recreation spot, providing residents and visitors with ample fields, courts, play spaces, and natural greenery. Once the location of Camden’s most significant localized flooding, the City, County, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and a variety of partners completed a large-scale stormwater management improvement project at Von Nieda Park eighteen months ago. The improvements paved the way for additional recreational enhancements, such as the sprayground.
“This sprayground is for the people of the Cramer Hill neighborhood, and all those throughout the city and surrounding region who have witnessed this park’s transformation firsthand in recent years,” said Camden City Council President Frank Moran. “The project demonstrates the commitment of both the Camden County Freeholder Board and the City administration to transforming our parks into high quality recreational spaces.”
The sprayground is the park’s newest attraction, and the first sprayground in the Cramer Hill community. The new water-based play space is “nature-themed,” and features a tree branch that showers children as they run and play, a rock archway, spray jets that pop up from the ground like buds, a beautiful rain garden that captures, infiltrates and treats the sprayground’s water, and educational signage.
The design and construction of the sprayground was made possible through a generous $125,000 grant from the American Water Charitable Foundation’s Building Better Communities signature grant program, which is administered by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).
“As the provider of water service to Cramer Hill for over 100 years, our commitment to this community is strong. Beyond providing clean, safe, reliable and affordable water service to our customers, we are proud to lend our support through the American Water Charitable Foundation to this exciting project. We hope the children and families of Cramer Hill – our customers – will enjoy this beautiful park for many years to come,” said Robert MacLean, Senior Vice President, Eastern Division, American Water and President, New Jersey American Water.
“NRPA is proud to partner with the American Water Charitable Foundation to help provide this unique play space to the residents of Camden,” said Lori Robertson, NRPA Director of Conservation. “This enhanced space will increase opportunities for physical activity, and connect children and families to the wonders of nature through their local park.”
The project received additional support from the Cramer Hill Community Development Corporation and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Green Acres Program.
PICTURED: Children from Heaven’s Little Angels Learning Center in Camden joined (back row, from left) Meishka L. Mitchell, Vice President of Community Initiatives, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership; Robert MacLean, Senior Vice President, Eastern Division, American Water and President, New Jersey American Water; Councilperson Luis A. Lopez, Ph.D., City of Camden; and Freeholder William F. Moen, Jr., Camden County Freeholder Board, for the opening of the new Von Nieda Park Sprayground in Camden’s Cramer Hill neighborhood.
About Cooper’s Ferry Partnership:
Cooper’s Ferry Partnership (CFP) is a nonprofit community and economic development organization that serves as a catalyst for the preservation and growth of a vibrant City of Camden. CFP partners with public, private, and local leaders to strengthen Camden’s connections to its parks and waterways; leverage public investment into infrastructure and real estate; and cultivate well-programed civic spaces that will encourage people to live, work, invest, and play in the City of Camden. For more information, visit www.coopersferry.com.
About American Water Charitable Foundation:
Established in 2010 with a founding contribution from American Water, the American Water Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides a formal way to demonstrate the company’s ongoing commitment to being a good neighbor, citizen, and contributor to the communities where American Water and its employees live, work and operate. The Foundation helps support American Water employee-identified nonprofit endeavors. More information can be found at www.amwater.com.
About National Recreation and Park Association:
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of nearly 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.