Pop-up park outside Camden City Hall gets water-related upgrades

Last year Camden created the Roosevelt Plaza pop-up park with seating and a public piano in an empty lot next to city hall.

This summer officials will use the park as an educational tool to teach residents about stormwater management, a long-term problem for the city.

Roosevelt Plaza Park H2O includes planters and a garden hydrated by rainwater, a rain curtain and an interactive organ that spouts H2O when certain buttons are pressed.

It also contains informational signs that describe how residents can implement stormwater management solutions at home.

Officials wanted to build on the success of last year’s pop-up park by using the space to address one of Camden’s pressing problems, said Anthony Perno, CEO of Cooper’s Ferry Partnership.

“How do we put together something that’s beautiful in nature from an art perspective, but at the same time tell an important story about what’s happening here in the city of Camden from a stormwater management standpoint?”

Perno said Camden’s combined sewer system can lead to sewage overflowing into waterways during heavy rainstorms.

“That really impacts the lives of people,” he said.

Camden Mayor Dana Redd says constructing public spaces and sustainable development like this pop-up park helps the entire city.

“You have this energy that is connected to a lot of our parks and green spaces and open spaces that are helping us to create a more healthy and vibrant community,” she said.

Roosevelt Plaza Park H2O is a project of the Camden SMART (Stormwater Management and Resource Training) Initiative, a collaboration between the city and several local groups.

It is being funded by the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, the William Penn Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, Wells Fargo, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

This disclosure: WHYY is supported by the William Penn Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation.

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