From wastewater treatment plant to nature preserve

By next spring, a plot of riverfront land in Camden that was once the site of a wastewater treatment plant may be open to the public as a nature preserve.

On Tuesday Camden County officials formally announced plans to create the Cramer Hill Nature Preserve, which will encompass 35 acres on the banks of the Delaware River that has been empty since the plant was torn down in 1990. The site, which is adjacent to Petty's Island, has since become home to birds and deer.

Once the park is completed, residents in the area will have direct access to an urban forest, as well as the river.

"Since the industrial revolution more than 100 years ago, we have not had this much riverfront property available for the residents of Camden County," Freeholder Jeffrey L. Nash said in a statement.

County officials will request state funding to preserve the wetlands in the area. Cleanup and construction of a trail system is expected to cost about $600,000, according to county officials. The Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority is seeking bids for construction management of the trails.

asteele@phillynews.com 856-779-3876 @AESteele

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