Camden, NJ is America’s poorest, most dangerous city of its size. Recently, the USDA Food Desert Locator, named Camden, NJ, one of the Top 10 American Food Deserts. The Camden City Food Security Advisory Board, led by the Camden City Garden Club (CCGC) and City of Camden, is working with experts and gardeners to combat this issue with community gardening. The CCGC operates the Camden Children’s Garden (CCG) & Community Gardening Program, transforming Camden’s of abandoned trash-strewn lots into community gardens to nourish and beautify neighborhoods for 28 years. Camden residents work with CCGC to install/maintain food-producing community gardens throughout the city.
As part of the Campbell Soup Co’s February $Ten-Million Plan to Reduce Childhood Obesity & Hunger in Camden, NJ, the CCGC staff uses community gardens and in-classroom green houses to teach Camden children how to grow their own food and nutrition/horticulture education.
Today, Camden has over 116 community gardens, where residents are growing a surplus of nutritious food and sharing with others. CCGC has been able to create 80 community gardens in only the past 3 years with help from sponsors like the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, William Penn Foundation and Campbell Soup Company. Gardening is a viable resource for fresh, inexpensive food, especially in a food desert with one grocery store.
The possibilities are endless for an urban green city… with the proper resources…Had Governor Christie not cut the CCG by 100%, we would be serving 15% of Camden residents.
ABOUT THE CAMDEN CHILDREN'S GARDEN -Program and headquarters of CCGC -
The Camden Children’s Garden, in its 12th year, is designed for children and families. It is a special place to explore and discover the natural world. This 4.5-acre garden features themed educational exhibits for children for creative and imaginative play, such as the Dinosaur Garden, a Giant Picnic Garden, Storybook Gardens, Red Oak Run and Tree House, Cityscapes Garden and more! Enjoy great indoor attractions including the Philadelphia Eagles Four Seasons Butterfly House, Plaza de Aibonito, our Puerto Rican tropical greenhouse exhibit, and Benjamin Franklin’s Secret Garden and Workshop. Enjoy the carousel, Arrow River Express Train Ride, and Spring Butterfly Ride. Hours are 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Available on other days with group reservation. The Garden is closed January-March. Admission is $6 for all, and children ages 2 and under enjoy the Garden free of charge. Garden Festivals are family-oriented events held at the Garden on the 2nd and 4th weekends of the month, April-November.