Sustainable Jersey Certification Report

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This is the Sustainable Jersey Certification Report of Camden City, a Sustainable Jersey bronze certified applicant.

Camden City was certified on October 17, 2019 with 160 points. Listed below is information regarding Camden City’s Sustainable Jersey efforts and materials associated with the applicant’s certified actions.

Contact Information

The designated Sustainable Jersey contact for Camden City is:

Name:Joe Thomas
Title/Position:Economic Development Rep / Planning & development
Address:P.O. Box 95120 Suite 1300
Camden, NJ 08102

Actions Implemented

Each approved action and supporting documentation for which Camden City was approved for in 2019 appears below. Note: Standards for the actions below may have changed and the documentation listed may no longer satisfy requirements for that action.

  • Brownfields

    Brownfields Inventory & Prioritization

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The Camden Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has, since 2005, managed the Brownfield Program for the City of Camden. During that time the CRA has been awarded nearly $38.0 million in grants for the purpose of investigation and remediation of Brownfield Sites. Currently, the CRA is managing $12.0 million in active State and Federal Brownfield grants. As redevelopment activity has gained momentum in Camden and the competition for Brownfield funding has increased, the CRA recognized that a strategic plan was required to guide the allocation of resources and ensure alignment of Brownfield projects with various City, State and regional plans. In order to address this need, the Camden Redevelopment Agency engaged the US Environmental Protection Agency-funded, New Jersey Institute of Technology Technical Assistance for Brownfield Communities (NJIT TAB) Program to develop a document entitled “City of Camden Brownfield Redevelopment Strategic Plan” (2014) The CRA has partnered with the Camden Collaborative Initiative's (CCI) Land & Brownfield working group to serve as the central Brownfield Development Committee. The Land & Brownfield working group has brought together City Administration, City residents, planning agencies, and Federal and State regulators. Every two years the working group reviews and revises the Brownfields Redevelopment Strategic Plan with its Priority List, updates the maps and narrative, adds sites, and determine which sites require marketing. The CCI's Land & Brownfield working group then develops one page marketing sheets for each site that is determined to require marketing and link them to the City's and CRA's webpages.

    Brownfields Marketing

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The primary means by which the CRA markets major Brownfield sites is through the publicly advertised Request for Proposal (RFP) process. By this process the CRA is able to consistently state its desired outcome based on sound planning principles and established community goals. In addition the RFP process allows the CRA to evaluate competing proposals on a “level playing field” and determine which proposal best answers the reuse objectives of the CRA’s stakeholders. During 2015, the CRA solicited proposals for the approximately 5 acre Borden Chemical Site on Federal Street and successfully negotiated an agreement of sale which calls for the development of a $25.0 million high-tech manufacturing facility The CRA refrains from utilizing the State's Site Mart site due to difficulties and lack of results. The CRA rather markets the City's brownfield sites through the CRA's webpage. The webpage compiles a list of the City's contaminated sites in one location for future buyers and developers to easily access.

  • Community Partnership & Outreach

    Create Green Team

    10 Points
    Bronze Required Silver Required

    Program Summary: Founded in late 2009, the Camden Green Team helped the City of Camden achieve Sustainable Jersey Bronze Certification in September 2012. Building on that achievement, the Camden Green Team achieved Silver Certification in 2013 and is hoping for re-certification at the Silver Level in 2016. The Camden Green Team consists of an ever-expanding group of stakeholders from numerous organizations. The overarching goal of the Camden Green Team is to improve the quality of life of Camden residents by implementing initiatives aimed at making the City more sustainable. Attached you'll find the original resolution creating the Green Team in 2009, our 2016 accomplishments and work plan and a letter of continued support of the Green Team from Frank Moran of Camden from May 2019.

  • Diversity & Equity

    Environmental Justice in Planning & Zoning

    10 Points

    Program Summary: On February 10, 2015, with the unanimous approval of the City of Camden City Council, a Sustainability Ordinance was adopted as a key revision to Sections of their existing Land Development Ordinance. The Sustainability Ordinance promotes: 1. environmentally-related sustainable practices; 2. economic growth within the City in a manner that is protective of the public health, safety and welfare of the residents; and 3. development of vibrant neighborhoods that balance the needs of the built environment with that of natural environmental habitats and ecosystems. Importantly, this ordinance demonstrates a model for restoration as a key element for the regeneration of a Post-Industrial city while promoting development that improves the City of Camden’s overall quality of life and triple bottom line: Economy, Community and the Environment.

  • Energy

    Public Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

    15 Points

    Program Summary: In 2013, Camden County took the lead to install 11 plug-in Level 2 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the County. We worked with our municipal partners are the logistics of installation, including permitting and site work. Two of the stations were installed in a parking garage in the City of Camden and have been in continuous use since their installation.

  • Health & Wellness

    Smoke-Free and Tobacco-Free Public Places

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Camden has passed an ordinance to ban smoking and tobacco use in city-owned playgrounds and parks. The ordinance has been implemented to ensure exposures to second-hand smoke do not occur in places of public play and recreation.

  • Innovative Projects


    10 Points

    Program Summary: The objective of the Camden SMART (Stormwater Management and Resource Training) Initiative is to develop a comprehensive network of green infrastructure programs and projects for the City of Camden. The Initiative is a collaboration between the City of Camden, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program, New Jersey Tree Foundation, NJ Department of Environmental Protection, our public-private partners, community organizations, and most importantly, Camden residents to restore and revitalize our neighborhoods. The Initiative includes neighborhood green infrastructure projects, stormwater management policy development, and green infrastructure training programs. To date, Camden SMART has installed 17 rain gardens throughout the City. These rain gardens have diverted over 1.5 million gallons of stormwater from going into the combined stormwater system. Here are three examples: Farnham Park is the largest park in the City of Camden, comprising 71-acres. The upper portion of the park has recently completed extensive redevelopment. The project consisted of three main components: stormwater improvements, upgrading the storm pipe system and installing a rain garden on site, connecting to the Camden GreenWay system via the installation of a multi-purpose trail throughout the park and improvements to the spray pool/recreational equipment for the residents. Farnham Park celebrated its reopening on July 20 and unveiled its SMART improvements, new recreation amenities, and a connection to the Camden GreenWay trail. The $1 Million revitalization project was funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the NJDEP Green Acres Program, NJDEP Recreational Trails Program, the Camden County Open Space Trust, and the Trust for Public Land. Project Partners include the City of Camden, Cooper's Ferry Partnership, and Parkside Business and Community in Partnership. The Waterfront South rain gardens were built on the site of an abandoned gas station that was demolished and remediated with the help of the New Jersey DEP. The park consists of four rain gardens connected by walking paths that have been designed by the Rutgers Agricultural Extension Service. The landscaping, including grading and plants selected, are not just beautiful, but functional in capturing stormwater and prevent it from entering Camden’s combined sewer system. The Ferry Avenue rain garden project, located on a vacant lot owned by the CCMUA adjacent to its Administration Building, is approximately 800-900 square feet. Two curb cut inlet channels capture, filter, and infiltrate stormwater from the surrounding roadways. The project is located near a low-lying intersection which frequently floods during storm events. The installation of this project was part of a two-day training workshop on rain gardens for landscape professionals. This project included a tree and shrub planting organized by New Jersey Tree Foundation.

    Innovative Community Project 1

    10 Points

    Program Summary: On Tuesday, October 6th, 2015 the City of Camden and Cooper’s Ferry Partnership completed one of its most complex and rewarding projects to date—the Von Nieda Park Stormwater Management & Park Improvement Project. Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, in partnership with the City of Camden, Camden County, and the Cramer Hill Community Development Corporation, has been working on this stormwater management project in the Cramer Hill neighborhood that is a direct result of the Cramer Hill NOW! Neighborhood Plan, completed by Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and the Cramer Hill Community Development Corporation in 2008, which identified neighborhood flooding as the #1 concern reported by Cramer Hill residents. The Von Nieda Park Stormwater Management & Park Improvement Project will mitigate flooding in the Cramer Hill neighborhood, specifically the Von Nieda Park and surrounding residential properties. The historic Baldwin’s Run tributary stream originally ran through Von Nieda Park, but was filled in the 1950’s establishing the topography that frequently floods the neighborhood. There are two construction projects that comprise the overarching flood mitigation strategy: 1) The Von Nieda Park Stormwater Management Project entails the separation and improvements to the storm and sanitary pipe infrastructure in and around the park. Construction of the first phase of thee improvements began in July 2014 and were completed in October 2015 after delays due to weather and the presences of contaminated soil. The $2.8 million project, was funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Green Acres and Recreational Trails Programs, the Neighborhood Revitalization Tax Credit Program via the Cramer Hill CDC, and NJDEP Environmental Infrastructure Trust (NJEIT) via the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA). 2) The Baldwin’s Run Urban Daylighting Project entails the, re-establishing a section of the Baldwin’s Run tributary that once ran to the river from this location. Re-establishing the stream and enhancing wetlands in this area of the city will benefit the natural habitat for the endangered plant and animal species in the area. Full scope of the project included the daylighting of the stream, wetlands restoration, and the construction of a multi-use trail connecting into Von Nieda Park and the surrounding neighborhoods. Construction was completed in December 2014. Funding for the Baldwin’s Run daylighting project is from a low-interest loan from the NJDEP Environmental Infrastructure Trust for $1.5. Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, in partnership with Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, submitted this funding application. Additionally, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, in partnership with the City of Camden, was awarded a $24,000 grant for the construction of the trail from NJDEP’s Recreational Tails Program.

    Innovative Community Project 2

    10 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Camden has invested in a number of projects to promote it being a bicycle and trail friendly community. There have been a number of bike lanes created to improve safety and and access, as well as a bike share program for City residents. ( Camden Greenways Inc. -, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to realizing the Camden Greenway Plan and stewarding it. Currently, with a network of trails spread throughout Camden and its surrounding suburbs, the Camden GreenWay network will provide a beautiful and unique way to experience the City. The GreenWay continues to focus on connecting walking and biking trails in Camden, Philadelphia, and the South Jersey suburbs, including the Cooper River Park Trail, Schuylkill River Trail, and the East Coast Greenway. The Camden GreenWay Trail Network will connect more than 128 miles of bicycle trails, provide mobility alternatives to the residents of South Jersey, improve public health and help the environment. Economic development along the trail corridor will increase property values and employment opportunities. As the Camden GreenWay grows, it continues to be a fantastic addition to Camden and its suburbs, and an ideal way to visit and explore the city! For over the past ten years, the William Penn Foundation has been a generous supporter to Camden City and Cooper's Ferry Partnership (CFP) to help with the community engagement, planning, design, construction, and programming of the city’s greenways. These initial investments, coupled with support and leadership from Camden City and Camden County Parks, have created and/or expanded the trail network for pedestrians and bicyclists and helped to be an integral component to the neighborhood’s revitalization strategies. Camden Greenway - In addition, CONNECT THE LOTS is a community-driven initiative to activate Camden, New Jersey's parks and underutilized spaces through the implementation of artistic, cultural, and recreational projects and activities. The goals of the initiative are to engage Camden residents in neighborhood transformation, create safe nodes of activity, and to bring vibrancy to Camden’s corridors and public spaces. i-Bike Camden information -

    Innovative Community Project 3

    10 Points

    Program Summary: On January 24, 2013, the City of Camden, with the support of Cooper's Ferry Partnership, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency, launched the Camden Collaborative Initiative. The Collaborative is building upon the success of environmental initiatives underway, made possible by the efforts and resources of multiple partners that have come together to address the complex environmental issues present in the City. The Camden Collaborative Initiative was formed to realize the many opportunities to maintain, restore, and enhance the environmental resources in the city. The Collaborative will facilitate and leverage partnerships for proactive, holistic, and innovative solutions to help Camden become a vibrant sustainable city. The Camden Collaborative Initiative is a solutions-oriented partnership between governmental, non-profit, private, and community-based agencies formed to plan and implement innovative strategies to improve the environment and the quality of life of Camden's residents. The Camden Collaborative Initiative focuses on seven environmental factors: Air, Camden SMART (Stormwater Management and Resource Training) Initiative, Environmental Education, Green Team, Land & Brownfields, Get Healthy Camden, and Waste & Recycling. To date, the Camden Collaborative Initiative has over 40 partnerships, has completed over 60 projects environmentally related, and has engaged over 5,000 residents. Most recently, CCI launched Camden Reports to address environmental injustices in the City of Camden. CAMDEN REPORTS provides Camden residents with the opportunity to become engaged by anonymously reporting incidences of illegal dumping and flooding that negative impact on the quality of the life for Camden residents. Early in 2019, Camden received a $1 million grant to beautify the areas that were former illegal dumping sites. Website:

  • Land Use & Transportation

    Sustainable Land Use Pledge

    10 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: On April 10, 2012, Camden City Council adopted a Sustainable Land Use Pledge by resolution. The adopted pledge reflected all of the elements required by Sustainable Jersey. Subsequent to its adoption, the pledge was disseminated to the City Planning Board and Zoning Board as well as the Department of Planning and Development. The resolution was redistributed to these groups on May 23, 2016. Documentation of the email that was sent is attached, as well as the original resolution.

    Bicycle and Pedestrian Audits

    5 Points

    Program Summary: The City of Camden has begun advocating and implementing elements that promote healthy lifestyles including the construction of bike lanes and sharrows. Through Cooper's Ferry Partnership, bike advocates from across the region assisted in performing a bike audit in several of Camden's neighborhoods to understand biking limitations and advantages in the City of Camden. Partners biked through four distinct neighborhoods: Waterfront South, North Camden, Fairview, and East Camden to assess the biking feasibility in these neighborhoods. The trail through North and East Camden consisted of 12 miles of both on and off road bicycling opportunities. The opportunities and constraints have been identified in the attached documents through a variety of videos, pictures, and written documentation. The collected information will be used for consideration in future planning to address these sections and construct additional segments.

  • Natural Resources

    Water Conservation Ordinance

    20 Points
    Bronze Priority Silver Priority

    Program Summary: After the required two readings, Camden City Council approved a water conservation ordinance (drafted by the Camden City Green Team based on the template provided by Sustainable Jersey) at the September 11, 2012 meeting. Copies of the executed ordinance are not yet available, but we have attached the September 11 Council agenda and the copy of the ordinance that was attached to the agenda. The Camden Green Team and Camden SMART (Stormwater Management and Resource Training) Initiative are very active and engaged in the community, and are dedicated to supporting the enforcement of this ordinance by working closely with City officials and communicating regularly with City residents. Additionally, in the coming weeks, the City administration will be informing relevant staff of the ordinance through memos and department meetings. Lastly, in partnership with the City of Camden, we have prepared several documents to spread the word about the water conservation ordinance. An article has been published in a City newsletter (attached) and a one-page flyer will also be distributed in the next quarterly bill sent by the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority later this year (attached).

    Community Forestry Management Plan and NJUCF Accreditation

    20 Points

    Program Summary: Camden has a current Community Forestry Management Plan spanning from 2016-2020. Each year, the City of Camden and the Shade Tree Advisory Board works to implement the goals of our plan. Attached is the current community forestry management plan and the 2018 annual accomplishment report, as well as the NJUCF accreditation status report. We are in the process of updating the plan for 2020. We have also recieved CEU credits for our TreeKeeper's workshop, which was held on June 15th. Attached are copies of the CEU sign-in sheet and TreeKeepers flyer.