By David Madden and Cleve Bryan
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — A part of the North Camden waterfront is looking a whole lot greener today, with the official reopening of Pyne Poynt Park.READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: More Than A Foot Of Snow Expected For Jersey Shore As Nor'easter Approaches
Over the years, this 15-acre park declined into a haven for drug dealing. But now, it’s undergone a major overhaul. The state prison that once stood beside it is gone, and $4 million in state and county funds have been used to turn it into a “field of dreams,” according to proponents.
With a playground area (below) and three new baseball fields, it’ll be put to a lot of use, says Bryan Morton, president of the North Camden Little League.
“We went from 45 kids to over 420 kids — 27 teams — starting at age five running all the way up to age 19,” he notes, adding, “Boys and girls own this park.”
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Camden County Freeholder Jeff Nash says, “No longer will these 15 acres be used as a haven for drug dealers. This park which was arguably the worst in the county system is now one of the best.”
Pyne Point Middle School student, Mekhi McMillian, says “It’s really different now, I can see me bringing my little brother and sisters and cousins out here to play. Before I had to watch out because it was needles.”
Officials promise this is just the start of the resurgence of North Camden, noting that plans for the site of the former prison are still under development.MORE NEWS: WATCH LIVE: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy Gives Winter Weather Briefing