Dear Governor Christie:
The Design Advocacy Group of Philadelphia would like to respectfully and strongly encourage you to keep the Camden Children’s Garden intact at its current site. Our group exists to encourage good architecture and urban design. Green space is becoming a more and more important part of any good urban design, and CCG embodies in so many ways the green ideals we promote. Two are especially important, and they will resonate with you, as the children of Camden have been much on your mind lately.
First, the Garden offers a place for children to experience growth and regeneration in the midst of greenery. For a short time, the outdoors can be a place of fun and relaxation, not one of danger. They won’t be aware that they are in a landmark piece of architecture, but the playful installations by architect Robert Venturi can’t help but make them laugh.
Second, the Camden City Garden Club runs an extraordinary series of programs, all anchored by the success of the Garden itself. They feed 12% of the Camden population with food from their 120 community gardens. Given the current distress in the school system, I was most impressed to learn that only one of the 300 youths given job training by CCG dropped out of school. These programs would be the envy of any city.
Please save the Camden Children’s Garden for future generations of New Jersey children.
With warm regards,
Kiki Bolender, AIA, Chair of the Design Advocacy Group of Philadelphia