Community Leaders Unveil All-Electric Bus, Ag Pod and Solar + Battery Storage Technology at The Warehouse

Innovative Approach Provides Wilmington Teens with Educational Opportunities in Sustainability

Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) bus unveiled June 14 at The Warehouse in WilmingtonVehicle-to-Grid (V2G) bus unveiled June 14 at The Warehouse. An electric zero emissions bus that is the The Warehouse’s new cleaner transportation option for visitors of The WRK Group, including The Warehouse, REACH Riverside and Kingswood Community Center.

Community leaders gathered today at The Warehouse, a service partner of The WRK Group, to welcome three new clean energy technologies as part of the Energize The Warehouse initiative — a collaboration between Delmarva Power, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) and many other community partners. The initiative is helping The Warehouse further its mission to revolutionize teen engagement by serving as a place for local teens to learn about clean energy, electric transportation, and sustainable farming and agriculture.

The initiative supports vocational and educational opportunities alongside each new technology, helping teens explore the energy industry and develop the skills needed to fill future energy jobs across Delaware and the broader region. Beyond the educational component of these technologies, they also offer solutions to some of the challenges facing the community, including improving access to food, transportation and reducing energy costs.

The Warehouse will host new three new technologies:

  • Agricultural (Ag) Pod – A sustainable indoor vertical growing environment for produce that allows communities to grow food year-round. This technology was supported by Delmarva Power, the DNREC Community Environmental Project Fund, the Electric Power Institute (EPRI) and Planting To Feed Inc.
  • Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) Bus – Electric, zero emissions bus, providing a cleaner transportation option for visitors of The WRK Group, including The Warehouse, REACH Riverside and Kingswood Community Center. This technology was supported by Delmarva Power, Exelon, the DNREC Environmental Mitigation Trust Fund, and the University of Delaware.
  • Solar and Battery Storage System – Provides clean solar energy to The Warehouse and allows the organization to save money on energy costs. This technology was supported by Delmarva Power, the DNREC Green Energy Fund, and CMI Solar & Electric.

“This is transformational for the community,” said Logan S. Herring, Sr., CEO of The WRK Group. “We are feeding our neighbors with fresh and healthy produce from the Ag Pod. We are transporting our friends and family to The Warehouse and beyond with cleaner technology. We are creating a culture where a commitment to clean energy is normal and expected. We are so thankful to all of our partners for investing their time and energy into Riverside and making us an example in clean technology.”

“Combining clean, renewable energy sources with agriculture and food production, especially for high needs areas, is bringing together the best of what Delaware’s future should look like. It also helps us address climate change and protect our planet,” said Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long. “I want to thank Delmarva Power, DNREC and The WRK Group for the innovation they have shown as partners to help educate the community, especially our youth, on the benefits of sustainability and future career possibilities. This partnership is the perfect example of how we will build a stronger, healthier Delaware.”

“The Teen Warehouse has, in a very short time, become a focal point for idea sharing, innovative thinking and a desire to learn,” said Mayor Mike Purzycki. “The fact that it all happens in an environment that is energized by teens is both meaningful and hopeful. I am honored to be part of the announcement for this clean energy initiative and express my thanks to Delmarva Power (the city’s LED lighting technology partner) and DNREC (Wilmington’s partner for countless environmental achievements) for helping to transform teen learning and new skill sets into solutions that can benefit our neighborhoods and our city as a whole.”

“It is inspiring to see so many partners come together in a unified front with the goal of supporting our youth’s educational needs and the needs of the communities where we live and work,” said Dave Velazquez, president and CEO of Pepco Holdings, which includes Delmarva Power. “Energize The Warehouse is bringing cutting-edge technologies to our community and delivering an incredible hands-on learning opportunity for our local students. I hope we can help build a foundation for their future interests in clean energy technology and help them develop into the energy leaders we need moving forward.”

“Together with businesses and community partners such as The Warehouse, Delaware is transitioning to cleaner transportation and renewable energy sources that will reduce our overall greenhouse gas emissions,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Additionally, not only will this project result in The Warehouse saving money on energy costs, but it will also provide opportunities for young adults and local colleges to work with solar technology and learn about its benefits.”

“We’re pleased to be working with The Warehouse on the addition of their new vehicle to grid bus,” said Willett Kempton, professor at the University of Delaware. “This technology provides The Warehouse flexibility in their energy usage from utilizing stored energy from the bus to supporting the regional power grid. I see this technology becoming increasingly important both locally and nationally, and I’m grateful that we get to partner with such an innovative organization as The Warehouse.”

“Indoor farming has great potential to provide local produce year-round using less energy and water – supporting decarbonization in the agriculture industry,” said Rob Chapman, senior vice president of Energy Delivery and Customer Solutions for EPRI. “EPRI’s indoor agriculture research bolsters sustainable communities while educating project collaborators, local stakeholders, and the next generation of farmers.”

“We are very excited to partner with the Teen Warehouse, Delmarva Power and EPRI on the Ag Pod,” said Jessica Wescott, founder and executive director of Planting to Feed. “We believe access to quality foods should be a right and not a determinant of your ZIP code. Emerging technologies like the Ag Pod will help to eliminate barriers to quality foods in a sustainable way.”

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

About Delmarva Power
Delmarva Power is a unit of Exelon Corporation (Nasdaq: EXC), the nation’s leading energy provider, with approximately 10 million customers. Delmarva Power provides safe and reliable energy service to approximately 532,000 electric customers in Delaware and Maryland and approximately 136,000 natural gas customers in northern Delaware.

About The Warehouse
The Warehouse is a service delivery partner of REACH Riverside Development Corporation and operates with a “For Teens, By Teens” culture that is youth driven and adult led. It brings together more than 140 youth-serving partner organizations to provide a variety of programs focused on recreation, education, arts, career, and health. For more information on The Warehouse visit www.teenwarehouse.org or follow us on social media.

Media Contacts:
DNREC: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

Delmarva Power: Timothy Stokes, 866-655-2237 (media hotline)

The Warehouse: Melody Phillips, mphillips@teenwarehouse.org


Students Win Contest for Earth Day Videos

Governor Carney and DNREC Secretary Garvin recognize the winners of the 2021 Earth Day video contest. Pictured (from left to right): Governor John Carney, Ethan Fink, Vedic and Iveena Mukherjee, John Doerfler, and Secretary Shawn M. Garvin

Governor John Carney joined DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin today to recognize the student winners from throughout the state who won this year’s Earth Day video contest hosted by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. The contest was launched by DNREC to educate and engage youth about the importance of environmental protection and inspire them to be part of the solution to address climate change.

The contest invited students to produce and submit a 30-second video to answer the question, “What should we be doing to protect and restore our Earth?”

“I am proud of our young people who participated in the DNREC Earth Day video contest,” said Governor John Carney. “They showed us all the ways – small and large – we can protect our planet from picking up trash to investing in renewable energy solutions.”

“Our mission is to protect human health and the environment, and part of that is done through educating the public about our historic, cultural and natural resources,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “By hosting the video contest, we wanted to provide our students a platform to show how they are the environmental stewards of today and for the future. Their videos make clear that they have taken this responsibility to heart through their actions.”

The Earth Day video contest was open to all Delaware students and was judged in three grade categories: K through 4, 5 through 8, and 9 through 12. Judging was based on how well the videos represented the following criteria: message/theme, visual effectiveness, originality/creativity and universal appeal. The judging panel included an educator, a scientist and a videographer.

The winners are:

K to 4: John Doerfler IV, a 10-year-old 4th grader at Love Creek Elementary School in Lewes, for the video “From Little Things, Big Things Grow”

5 to 8: Ethan Fink, a 13-year-old 7th grader at Everett Meredith Middle School in Middletown, for the video “Saving Our Water Saves Our Earth”

9 to 12: Iveena Mukherjee, a 14-year-old 9th grader at the Charter School of Wilmington, for the video “Earning Our Environment”

Each of the videos are posted to the @DelawareDNREC YouTube channel. DNREC also published a highlights video featuring clips from several entries. Each winner received a certificate, a $500 gift card, an annual pass to Delaware State Parks and a prize bag.

 


About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

###


DNREC Opens New Killens Pond State Park Boardwalk

Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin led the ribbon-cutting ceremony today for the new DNREC Killens Pond State Park boardwalk near Felton. Pictured, left to right, are: State Representative Charles Postles; Louise Warfield, Friends of Killens Pond State Park; Frank Newton, Friends of Killens Pond State Park; Delaware State Parks Director Ray Bivens; Wendy Aycoth, Friends of Killens Pond State Park; Governor Carney; Secretary Garvin; and State Senator Dave Lawson. /DNREC photo

 

Walkway Provides Safer Trail Connection, More Fishing Opportunities

To celebrate Earth Day today, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control cut the ribbon on its new Killens Pond State Park pedestrian boardwalk. The boardwalk will provide a safer trail connection along the eastern edge of Killens Pond, more appealing views while walking along the pond, and new fishing opportunities.

Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin hosted a small group to celebrate the grand opening of the boardwalk. The event is viewable on the Delaware State Parks YouTube page.

Previously, pedestrians and bicyclists attempting to navigate around the east end of pondside trail had to use the narrow shoulder of Killens Pond Road, which often has fast-traveling vehicles and was unsafe for those attempting to navigate the shoulder to the other side of the pond. It also provides a safer connection for campers to visit the Nature Center.

The boardwalk cost approximately $2.1 million, with 80% of that funding coming from the Federal Recreational Trails Program. Planning and design of the boardwalk began in 2017; construction began in November 2020 and the project was finished in early April. As part of this project, the boat launch parking lot at the southern end of the boardwalk was completely removed and replaced, creating a much nicer space for boaters, anglers and kayakers to launch.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation oversees more than 26,000 acres in 17 state parks and the Brandywine Zoo. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

###


Renovated Wagamons Pond Boat Ramp Officially Open

Participating in the ribbon cutting for the new DNREC Wagamons Pond boat ramp were (left to right) State Senator Ernesto Lopez, State Representative Steve Smyk, DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Saveikis, Milton Mayor Ted Kanakos, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and Division of Fish and Wildlife Construction Manager Jeremey Ashe. /DNREC photo

 

With today’s ribbon cutting at Wagamons Pond in Milton, the fishing and boating public is officially invited to enjoy the popular pond’s newly-renovated boat ramp with a replacement bulkhead and the added amenity of a courtesy dock. Managed by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the new concrete ramp can easily accommodate vessels from small john board boats to bass boats up to 20 feet long.

“DNREC’s public service mission includes providing and enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities for Delawareans and visitors, including 65 boating access areas throughout the state,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “Our mission also includes supporting local communities like Milton by providing facilities like this new boat ramp at Wagamons Pond.”

Wagamons Pond is one of Delaware’s most popular pond bass fishing and bass tournament locations. The current largemouth bass state record holder, Andrew “A.J.” Klein caught and released an 11-pound, 1.6-ounce lunker 27 inches long with 20.5-inch girth in Wagamons Pond in February 2016.

The $315,000 project was funded by federal Sport Fish Restoration grants administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, combined with matching funds from Delaware fishing license revenues through the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife. The new facility replaces a deteriorated 30-plus-year-old ramp.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities, and educates Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife conserves and manages Delaware’s fish and wildlife and their habitats, and provides fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and boating access on nearly 65,000 acres of public land. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, joanna.wilson@delaware.gov; Michael Globetti, michael.globetti@delaware.gov

###


Volunteers Needed to Participate in Christina River Watershed Cleanup in April

In recognition of Earth Day, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control joins the Christina Conservancy to encourage northern Delaware residents to get outside and safely clean up their communities. The Christina River Watershed Cleanup campaign is mobilizing volunteers throughout April to pick up trash in their own neighborhoods, on beaches and along waterways within northern New Castle County, from Brandywine Hundred south through Glasgow and Bear.

“For nearly 30 years, DNREC has partnered with the Christina Conservancy to focus volunteer efforts on keeping the waterways and watersheds of northern Delaware clean through the annual Christina River Watershed Cleanup,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “This year, as we celebrate Earth Day all month long, we urge all Delawareans statewide to get outside and make a difference close to home for waterways and watersheds throughout the First State.”

Unlike previous years, no pre-registration is needed for this month-long cleanup campaign. Volunteers are asked to clean up debris, like cigarette butts, beverage containers, food wrappers and more, that easily end up in waterways and ultimately in the ocean.

While large groups are discouraged, volunteers will have greater freedom to select when, where, and how often their household participates. They can see locations, document their findings and share photos in a new mobile-friendly online volunteer hub at Christina Cleanup Campaign.

All month long, find ideas about how to get involved in the 2021 Christina River Watershed Cleanup on Facebook and Twitter. Volunteers can post photos on facebook.com/ChristinaCleanup for a chance to win a 2021 Delaware State Parks pass. Each photo post counts as an entry. Volunteers can post as often as they like throughout the month.

Within the Naamans Creek Watershed, which is also part of northern Delaware’s Piedmont Basin and the Delaware Estuary, volunteers are invited to participate in an Earth Day Cleanup from April 18 to 24. Participants can select from 34 locations using a Signup Genius link.

Important Reminders:

  • Pick up trash near your home along streets, roadways, and in natural areas and open spaces.
  • Know your limitations and be aware of possibly hazardous areas, including along roadways, streambanks, and steep or slippery slopes.
  • Pack a disposable bag and rubber gloves whenever you take a walk or go hiking, to collect and carry out trash you find along the way.
  • Always Recycle Right. Only recycle clean items through curbside recycling or designated drop-off locations. Items with lots of dirt or grit attached or inside should be placed in your household trash.

Avoid These Actions:

  • Don’t enter private property without permission of the landowner.
  • Don’t place yourself in any danger while volunteering for the Christina River Cleanup.
  • Don’t collect any trash that your household waste hauler might not accept. Tires, construction materials, and metal drums may be unacceptable.

For more information, visit Christina River Watershed Cleanup or email ChristinaRiverCleanup@gmail.com.

About DNREC
The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control protects and manages the state’s natural resources, protects public health, provides outdoor recreational opportunities and educates Delawareans about the environment. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Joanna Wilson, Joanna.wilson@delaware.gov, Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov

###