Community Collaborative Initiative (CCI)

Abandoned gas station
Abandoned gas station #2048 South Broadway becomes Waterfront South Rain Gardens Park. [Frank McLaughlin, NJDEP Community Collaborative Initiative, 2010 and 2012.]
Abandoned gas station

Waterfront South Rain Gardens Park, Camden

This environmental justice project was the genesis of the Community Collaborative Initiative in 2011. OBCR worked with the Waterfront South neighborhood including the Sacred Heart Church, Heart of Camden, Center for Environmental Transformation, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA) and other local entities to hear their environmental concerns and vision for a healthier community. Despite having two Superfund sites and 28 contaminated sites in their neighborhood, the community identified cleaning up an abandoned, blighted gas station as their number one priority as it attracted illegal activities.

CCMUA purchased the gas station for $1 and NJDEP Compliance & Enforcement contributed $655,000 from a nearby settlement to fund clean-up and technical oversight assistance. The Waterfront South Rain Gardens Park became the first community-based green infrastructure project on a brownfield site in New Jersey. This project mitigated chronic illegal activity and local stormwater flooding and was successful due to the unique combination of partners. These partners became the Camden Collaborative Initiative.

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