The Trust for Public Land Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Dominick Andujar Park
Today, at 10 am ET, The Trust for Public Land is holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of Dominick Andujar Park, located on York Street, between Point Street and N. Front Street.
The park is dedicated to Dominick Andujar, who tragically passed away at the age of six while defending his older sister from an assault on her 12th birthday. Dominick’s heroism allowed his injured sister, Amber, to flee the house and seek help from a neighbor. To honor his memory, his family and neighbors in the community sought to revive the park where Dominick played as a child, working with The Trust for Public Land to create a safe place and family destination for all ages.
Mayor Vic Carstarphen, Camden City Councilwoman Felisha Reyes Morton, and Camden County Commissioner Jeffrey Nash will be noted speakers at the event.
“It’s been an honor working with the community and The Trust for Public Land to create a much-needed park and safe space for all in honor of Dominick,” said Mayor Vic Carstarphen. “We hope the new Dominick Andujar Park will become the heart of a healthy neighborhood and serve as a model for closing the park equity divide.”
Creating a Safe & Healthy Space for Families
This park represents delivery on the city’s commitment to increasing safe, close-to-home parks access for all residents. While Camden County is ranked among the least healthy counties in New Jersey, health disparities are even more significant in the North Camden area, where the obesity rates are 44.8%, compared to 34.2% citywide, according to the CDC and NJSHAD. The playground is surrounded by fitness equipment and play spaces to encourage a healthy and family-friendly lifestyle. Notably, the addition of the first-ever outdoor ellipticals and stationary bikes in Camden will allow parents to exercise while easily keeping an eye on their kids on the playground.
New features that can be found on the Southern end of the park include:
- Outdoor cardio fitness equipment, including the outdoor ellipticals and stationary bikes
- Two innovative playgrounds for toddlers and children to climb and explore
- A basketball court for athletes of all ages
- Easy access to the nearby Circuit Trail for walkers, joggers, and cyclists to cross-train
The Dominick Andujar Park will be the first park to deliver on the Camden Parks and Open Space Plan, addressing residents’ concerns identified through research last year. Throughout 2020, The Trust for Public Land worked with Camden officials, residents, and nonprofits, including the Camden Community Partnership, to survey more than 500 residents. The outreach revealed that while residents believe parks are key to social cohesion in their community, they are reluctant to visit some parks due to safety concerns, deficient programming and poor equipment and fields.
“We are incredibly passionate about the impact that this new high-quality park will provide for social cohesion, public health, and climate resilience,” said Owen Franklin, State Director for The Trust for Public Land. “The Trust for Public Land is proud to work alongside residents, public agencies, and community organizations to improve Dominick Andujar Park and create a community destination that honors such an important hero.”
Camden Park Equity Commitment
In 2018, the city pledged to the 10-Minute Walk campaign – a nationwide movement led by The Trust for Public Land, with founding partners National Recreation and Park Association, and Urban Land Institute – to ensure that all city residents have safe, easy access to a high-quality park within a 10-minute walk of home. With support from a 10-Minute Walk Campaign grant from the National Recreation and Park Association, Camden began city planning efforts which led to the creation of its first ever Parks and Open Space Plan released in December 2020. The Plan engaged more than 500 community members and is a roadmap to ensure every Camden resident has safe, easy access to a high-quality park within a 10-minute walk of their home.
“The community has come together to create this park,” said Felisha Reyes Morton, Camden City Councilwoman. “It’s a one-of-a-kind park, built by the hearts of the Camden community, and a safe place for families to build memories in honor of Dominick.”
The Trust for Public Land assembled the private funding for the Dominick Andujar Park, which includes contributions from the William Penn Foundation, Campbell Soup Foundation, Philadelphia 76ers and Cooper University Health Care, among others.
About The Trust for Public Land
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.
About the 10-Minute Walk Campaign
Led by The Trust for Public Land, National Recreation and Park Association, and the Urban Land Institute, the 10-Minute Walk Campaign works with mayors and other city leaders to harness the power of parks and public green space to address urban challenges. The 10-Minute Walk Campaign strives to celebrate and support mayors and local leaders in expanding safe and equitable access to green spaces and set specific targets for their city and region in park planning, funding, and policy. These incremental changes help transform communities and improve quality of life by prioritizing parks and public green space. Read more here.