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NJPHK-Camden Exhibits at Camden SMART Initiative Forum

April 5, 2014 | Camden, Community News

SMART Forum Exhibit_NJPHK-CamdenVisitors to the New Jersey Adventure Aquarium on January 30 who made a left at the shark tank found themselves at the NJPHK-Camden SMART Initiative Forum exhibit. Valeria Galarza, NJPHK-Camden project manager, and Alexis Sangalang, FoodCorps service member, were promoting the gardening, parks, and playground initiatives spearheaded by NJPHK-Camden in this second annual forum focused on sustainability and green initiatives in Camden.

NJPHK-Camden’s exhibit attracted a steady crowd of onlookers. “Turnout was impressive and we welcomed the chance to spread the word about the positive environmental impact NJPHK-Camden and our partners are creating here in Camden,” Galarza said. “Improving the areas where residents and their families play and enjoy the outdoors is so important in the fight against childhood obesity. We have had some true successes and were happy to share our stories.” NJPHK-Camden was one of 16 exhibitors.

Speakers at the forum included Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd, who addressed sustainability, and remarks from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, as well as a presentation by George S. Hawkins, Esq., general manager of the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority, and Camden SMART Initiative’s updates. Attendees had the opportunity to network and engage in conversation about storm water management, green infrastructure, and water quality in urban centers, while focusing on improving the quality of Camden’s residents’ lives through environmental change.

The Camden SMART Initiative is a community-driven public-private collaboration that focuses on sustainable, green programs and projects. The Initiative brings together Camden residents and representatives from the City of Camden, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program, New Jersey Tree Foundation, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, public-private partners, and other community organizations.

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