Members of a grassroots group called "Friends of Cooper River Park West" plan to attend Thursday’s Camden County Freeholder Board meeting to advocate for what they call “open space justice” in Camden.
The Friends want the freeholders to target parkland along the Cooper River west of Route 130 in the city and in Pennsauken Township for comprehensive planning and improvements similar to those under way east of the highway in the Cherry Hill-Collingswood portion of the park. See my column about the improvement plan here.
Known as Gateway Park, the scenic expanse of fields, woods and walking/biking trails on the north side of the river along Admiral Wilson Boulevard in Camden and Pennsauken has been locked behind gates for a dozen years. The park is supposed to become part of the Camden Greenway.
"As a Camden resident, I have to get in my car, with my bike, and go over to the east side to ride in Cooper River Park," says Martha Chavis, a member of the Friends. The group has collected 350 signatures on a petition, urging what it calls "equity" in funding and planning efforts.