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Keep it Green, PNJ, Heart of Camden host NJHT renewal event in Camden

September 25, 2008

Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts headlined a press conference at the site of the future Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum on Thursday to showcase the plans for adaptation and rehabilitation of the ca. 1880 former Church of Our Savior as a museum and education center.

Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts speaks at the Camden Shipyard & maritime Museum about historic preservation funding, joined by museum president Joe Balzano and Keep it Green head Eric Stiles

Assembly Speaker Joe Roberts speaks at the Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum about historic preservation funding, joined by museum president Joe Balzano and Keep it Green head Eric Stiles

Located on a key site within the South Camden historic neighborhood (named in PNJ’s 2004 10 Most Endangered Historic Sites), the former sacred site has recently received city and county grants for a new roof and gutter system, and has a major grant application pending in the NJ Historic Trust’s last capital grant round. Speakers at the Sept. 24 press event, including the Museum’s director, Dr. Michael Lang, Heart of Camden CDC chief Helene Pierson, Keep it Green’s Eric Stiles and PNJ exec Ron Emrich, highlighted the crisis in historic preservation funding as NJ’s Garden State Preservation Trust – including the NJ Historic Trust – is running out of money.

Assembly Speaker Roberts spoke eloquently about the importance of the Camden Shipyard & Maritime Museum to the community, and the vital role that the NJ Historic Trust, and the other programs funded by GSPT, have in protecting the quality of life and environment. Speaker Roberts noted that the voters of NJ have on numerous occasions supported funding these important programs and predicted “when you talk about making sure our history is preserved and that buildings would be preserved as well, there would be … support for future funding as well.

The source of money to continue the Historic Trust, Green Acres and Farmland Preservation programs will have to be found, he concluded, which will be difficult in these tough economic times.

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