CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A large group of volunteers and business partners came together on Earth Day to kick off an ongoing initiative to help improve the future of Camden, New Jersey.
Mayor Vic Carstarphen rallied the group as his second annual Camden Strong initiative got started in the city's Waterfront South neighborhood.
"Take pride in your city. This is big. Cleaning up every little piece that's in our neighborhood. Having your children understand that, and the families understand that, it makes our city a better place," Carstarphen said.
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The plan is to spread that message to all 14 of the city's neighborhoods this year while cleaning up trash and debris of all sizes.
Camden High School football players are working together on this, and following the lead of their coach while learning a valuable lesson.
"Just having pride in where you live. If you have pride in where you live, then that pride extends to other things and other facets of your life," said Rob Hinson, a teacher and head football coach at Camden High School.
Business partnerships are also a big part of expressing that community pride.
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"I actually got my family here and some of my friends to support the initiative, so it really means a lot to me on a personal level," said Todd Frace, facility manager at Covanta Waste Energy.
And the efforts could also help clean up the water system for everyone.
"It really impacts the entire region because these systems feed the Delaware River and all across the little estuaries that are off of it, so it's very important for cities like Camden to have these types of projects," said Mark McDonough, president of NJ American Water.
Another major goal is to increase the number of volunteers and community partnerships this year.
Camden Strong initiative kicks off with large cleanup on Earth Day
"Take pride in your city. This is big," said Camden Mayor Vic Carstarphen.