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New Jersey gives Camden Children’s Garden two months to vacate state land


2009 video showing Camden youngsters learning about nutrution. The state has given the garden’s operators until March 31, 2013 to remove all property from the Children’s Garden.

The nonprofit Camden Children’s Garden has two months to vacate most of its state-owned property before the land is transferred to the Adventure Aquarium next door.

By Claudia Vargas
Philly.com
January 25, 2013
Excerpts:

In a letter sent last week, the New Jersey Department of Treasury ordered Children’s Garden director Michael Devlin to remove all property – including the facility’s amusement rides, gazebo, and giant dinosaur – by March 31.

The garden has the option to sell its items to Herschend Family Entertainment, the private owner of the aquarium as well as amusement parks around the country.

The state, which owns the four-acre waterfront property, will allow the Children’s Garden to rent a small area to house office space and a greenhouse.

Since it was built in 1999, the Children’s Garden has not had a lease, license, or agreement to use the land, Treasury spokesman Bill Quinn said.

The city was awarded a Sustainable New Jersey bronze certification last year for its green efforts.

The garden club helped Camden attain that certification, said Devlin, who called the planned land transfer a “theft from the Camden City Garden Club and the city.”

“We have over 10,000 Camden kids come here free of charge each year. . . . It’s a safe haven and safe recreation,” he said.

Read the complete article here.

See Camden Children’s Garden here.

1 comment

1 Joyce Wright { 01.31.13 at 7:28 am }

There should be a way for the aquarium to compromise. 10,000 children coming isn’t a number to dismiss. Children have so few places to learn from and be a part of nature . Studies have shown that children given the opportunity to get close with the land do better in school and in life.