Change the View, Clean the Air
What does temporary art installations have to do with cleaner air?
It turns out quite a lot if they replace illegal dumping sites.
Illegal dumping is a huge problem in Camden and poses economic, health and environmental challenges.
An article on the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality’s website links illegal dumping to poor air quality. When illegal dumping sites catch on fire they release harmful toxins into the atmosphere, polluting the air.
This Year CFP was awarded the 2019 Bloomberg Public Arts Challenge Grant to pilot the “A New View” project, which aims to combat illegal dumping by converting these sites into temporary arts installations while teaching residents how to properly dispose of household and environmental waste. This initiative is just one way to improve the health of Camden’s air and residents.
But we do not only improve environmental and public health outcomes by these efforts, we can also literally change the view of Camden.
We suspect that illegal dumpers are more likely to litter in Camden because they view it as a dumpsite and can get away with it.
But by beautifying these sites through the creation of arts and green spaces, we can change this perception of our city. Not only that, but we can give residents an opportunity to be engaged in the cleaning effort. This is already taking place through the Camden Reports App, which allows residents to capture and report illegal dumping in real time.
Many residents are fed up with illegal dumping. In “’You Wake Up and it’s There,’” an article in the April 9 issue of the Cherry Hill Courier-Post, a Camden resident expresses his frustration about illegal dumping: “We put our trash where it belongs. People come out here and dump trash on the corners.” This sentiment is not uncommon among residents, who sometimes take upon themselves to pick up debris.
From small actions like picking up trash to clearing illegal dumping sites and converting them to art spaces, we can all contribute to cleaning the air in Camden.
About the Grantee
Cooper’s Ferry Partnership (CFP) was founded in 1984 as a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to planning and implementing high-quality urban redevelopment projects to revitalize the City of Camden.