State plans to uproot the Children's Garden
In a letter sent last week, the New Jersey Department of Treasury ordered Children's Garden director Michael Devlin to remove all property, including the facility's amusement rides, gazebo, and giant dinosaur, by March 31. The nonprofit Camden Children's Garden has two months to vacate most of its state-owned property before the land is transferred to the Adventure Aquarium next door. An online petition and Facebook page have been started to "Save the Garden".
City records show money through the state’s Green Acres program helped develop the land that now includes children’s attractions, a model railroad and a carousel. Those would be eliminated by the state or sold to the aquarium’s parent company at market value. Michael Devlin, director of the Garden, plans to fight the state’s request. Devlin said in 1994 that the city directed the Children’s Garden, Cooper’s Ferry Partnership and the city’s redevelopment agency to develop the property. He contends the land still belongs to the city and should be preserved as green space.