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Its Prospects Bright, Camden Children’s Garden Blossoms at Flower Show

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(Mike Devlin, founder of the Camden Children's Garden, stands alongside the group's display at the Philadelphia Flower Show.  Photo by Cherri Gregg)

(Mike Devlin, founder of the Camden Children’s Garden, stands alongside the group’s display at the Philadelphia Flower Show. Photo by Cherri Gregg)

Gregg_Cherrie--NEW Cherri Gregg
Cherri Gregg is the community affairs reporter for KYW Newsr...
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By Cherri Gregg

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — The Camden Children’s Garden is happy to be exhibiting at this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show, just one year after the small nonprofit nearly found itself evicted from its prime, Delaware waterfront location.

This time last year, as the Camden Children’s Garden prepared for the flower show, a March 31st deadline loomed. The group was going toe-to-toe with the State of New Jersey, which had ordered the garden to evacuate the 4.5 acres of land along the Camden waterfront that the kid-oriented education destination had called home for 14 years (see previous story).

“A lot of folks came to our aid,” recalls Mike Devlin (top photo), founder of the CCG.  He says mothers, elected officials, and community leaders pushed back against plans to expand the Adventure Aquarium next door (see related story).

And so far, Devlin says, talks with the aquarium have been positive.

“We are very confident that we are in control of our own destiny,” he said today.

In addition, the group has a 400-foot, colorful, kid-friendly exhibit at this year’s Philadelphia Flower Show called “Art in the Garden,” which includes artwork painted by young people in Camden (see photo above).

Camden Children’s Garden is a friendly place for children, featuring interactive rides and attractions.  In addition, the nonprofit group has developed 120 community gardens in Camden, which has been called one of the nation’s most barren food deserts.

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