Cooper River Park named Great Place in N.J. for 2013

The American Planning Association-New Jersey Chapter has named Cooper River Park, the central park of the Camden County Park System, a Great Place in New Jersey for 2013.

Launched in 2012, Great Places in New Jersey recognizes unique and exemplary downtowns, streets, neighborhoods and public spaces, four essential components of exceptional communities. Cooper River Park is honored in the Great Public Space category.

APA-NJ officers recognized this achievement in a presentation to Freeholder Jeff Nash and other county and municipal officials Oct. 11 at 2 p.m. at the Camden County Boathouse.

“Camden County residents already know that Cooper River Park is a special place, but this award proves that this park land is a destination not only within the region but throughout the state,” Nash said. “Since 1935, people from all over South Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania have converged upon Cooper River Park to experience its wide array of recreational facilities, regular events, cultural heritage, and spectacular views. And with over $5 million from the open space trust fund committed by the Freeholder Board for additional improvements, Cooper River will continue to be utilized as a hub for regional recreation and leisure in the years to come.”

Cooper River Park is home to a variety of passive and active recreational activities and is a national and international competitive rowing venue.

In addition, a world sailing champion is a member of the Cooper River Yacht Club and thousands of visitors a day frequent the park to run, bike and take in the scenic beauty.

“Cooper River Park is a sterling illustration of the outcome of good plans and planning, both in its design and development, and by the measures taken by Camden County to preserve and even improve its character over time,” APA-NJ President Charles Latini, Jr., AICP said. “The Park is highly worthy of its place on APA-NJ’s Great Places map.”

Cooper River Park and its 346.55 acres run through Pennsauken, Cherry Hill, Collingswood and Haddon Township. North and South Park Drives, Route 130 and Grove Street bound the park. This original Works Progress Administration project has become one of the most used parks in the state and continues to attract outdoor enthusiasts from throughout the region.

“Our community is incredibly lucky to have immediate and direct access to this wonderful amenity,” said Cherry Hill Mayor Chuck Cahn. “People visit Cooper River Park to socialize, participate in local events, enjoy recreational activities, and take in the natural environment of the watershed.”

For more information about the designees, the nomination guidelines and how to suggest a Great Place for 2014, please visit www.njplanning.org.