Young students shed light on Camden park

Sharrie Williams Image
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
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Thank to some young people, a Camden park has seen the light.

CAMDEN (WPVI) -- They held a celebration in a Camden park and with good reason.

For the first time, they lit up the night so young people can play, and it's the young people who made it happen.

There was light Tuesday at the Von Nieda Park in Camden.

It was a feat that took two years and it all started with students.

"When we see what we've done especially at a young age, it's such a great feeling," 13-year-old Ziani Sanchez said.

Students from St. Anthony of Padua began attending city and county meetings pushing for improvements at their neighborhood park.

They also held protests using flashlights to get their point across, even calling their elected officials constantly.

"We asked them 'are they going to keep their promise and do their job?'" 12-year-old Sebastien Cazeau said.

And now their perseverance has paid off.

The county is spending over $360,000 from its Urban Space Fund to add the rows of lights and make other capital improvements.

Kids and families at this park after dark just didn't happen before because there were too many safety concerns.

However, a year ago, Camden County Metro Police started patrolling on foot. That led to a decline in crime and they think the lights will do the same.

"So if you add that to the light situation, the neighborhood is getting safer all the time and I think this will help expedite that process," Lou Cappelli Jr., Camden County Freeholder Director, said.

There is now a party in the park for Camden's Cramer Hill neighborhood, a community changing for the better thanks to young minds at work

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