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  • Brownfield Success Story of Long-Term Community Engagement

    Thursday, December 12, 04:00 pm - 04:30 pm
    West Hall A – Area B
    Learning Lounges
    Track 4: Community Engagement and Environmental Justice
    Long-term effective community engagement is a necessary but underappreciated component to successful brownfield redevelopment and for the revitalization of distressed neighborhoods. Through an area-wide brownfield planning approach that emphasized community engagement, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, with support of the US Environmental Protection Agency, began working with the Cramer Hill stakeholders of Camden in 2003 to tackle the largest contaminated site in the city, the 85-acre Harrison Avenue Landfill. Through continuous, transparent and iterative community engagement, Cramer Hill stakeholders started with a $200,000 EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant that evolved into a 24-acre landfill closure for a 120,000-square foot Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center and the current remediation for a 62-acre waterfront park that will be opened April 2021. Brownfield and landfill reclamation projects of this magnitude are only possible with true and continuous community engagement, and with dedicated support from state and federal agencies who generously provided technical support and resources to make this challenging site a nationally-recognized success. The presentation will share the secrets of long-term successful community engagement from both the non-profit and government sectors, and provide a new placed-based model that memorializes this innovative way to engage local communities through the Community Collaborative Initiative.
    Frank McLaughlin
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