DNREC dedicates new Auburn Valley State Park in Yorklyn

YORKLYN – Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin were joined by U.S. Senator Tom Carper, state legislators, New Castle County and local officials, neighbors, and friends, at the dedication and ribbon-cutting of Delaware’s newest and 17th state park, the Auburn Valley State Park in Yorklyn.

Dedication of Auburn Valley State Park
DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Tom and Ruth Marshall, U.S. Senator Tom Carper and Governor John Carney unveil a bronze plaque dedicating the new Auburn Valley State Park.

Formerly the Auburn Heights Preserve, the park features an 1897 Queen Anne Victorian mansion and the Marshall Steam Museum, home to the largest operating Stanley steam car collection in the world. This four-acre estate was donated by Tom and Ruth Marshall, whose family established and operated the National Vulcanized Fiber (NVF) factory next to the estate. Marshall donated the mansion and steam car museum to the state in 2007. Part of that agreement included establishing an endowment for property upkeep. A historic bridge in the park is now named after the Marshall family.

“The new Auburn Valley State Park will be an economic engine to draw residents and visitors alike to Yorklyn, helping boost the state’s $3.3 billion dollar tourist industry,” said Governor Carney. “We must invest in our state parks to provide Delaware’s residents and visitors with safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities and open spaces, responsible stewardship of the lands and the cultural and natural resources that we have been entrusted to protect and manage, and resource-based interpretive and educational services.”

“Auburn Valley State Park promotes environmental stewardship and ensures that Delawareans will be able to enjoy acres of preserved land for years to come,” said Senator Carper, the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “This park – and the 16 other parks like it in the First State – are also economic drivers that bolster our tourism sector and encourage people from coast to coast enjoy all that Delaware has to offer – from our unique history to our pristine outdoor spaces. Our efforts to work together to protect and maintain these lands are a win for Delaware.”

“DNREC owns more than 360 acres of this valley with beautiful vistas, established trails, newly-cleaned flowing creeks with aquatic life, additional preserved lands and soon-to-be restored historic buildings, home of the Marshall Steam Museum, and all being served by the historic Wilmington and Western Railroad,” said Secretary Garvin. “Auburn Valley State Park will help transform Yorklyn into a residential, commercial, conservation and recreational area, while also removing a century of contamination. We thank Tom and Ruth Marshall and their family for their generous donation of their estate as well, and this new park will ensure their legacy endures in perpetuity.”

The new park features a total of 366 acres, including portions of the former NVF facility acquired through funding by the Delaware Open Space Program, FEMA, and private donations. The land has undergone site remediation – including toxics removal and flood mitigation – along with the building and completion of new trails. Plans are ongoing for continued redevelopment designed to turn the area into a revitalized, vibrant hub of activity that retains its historic character and provides the kinds of amenities that will help improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike.

For more information, visit www.destateparks.com/AuburnValley

Media Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902