Students from Maple Lane Elementary School join Governor John Carney (left) and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin at the Tulip Tree Woods Nature Preserve in Brandywine Creek State Park, dedicated today as part of the Old Growth Forest Network, a national organization working for forest preservation.
WILMINGTON – At an Arbor Day celebration today at the Tulip Tree Nature Preserve in Wilmington, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation and the Old Growth Forest Network announced that Delaware is the first state in the nation to be recognized for dedicating a mature forest in each of its counties into the nationally-recognized Old Growth Forest Network. Each of the forests to be recognized is also a state nature preserve.
Governor John Carney joined DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin to make the announcement, during a ceremony at one of the designated nature preserves – the Tulip Tree Woods Nature Preserve in Brandywine Creek State Park.
In addition to the Tulip Tree Wood Nature Preserve, the two other preserves designated in the network of protected forests are the Fork Branch Nature Preserve in Dover and the Nanticoke River (Barnes Woods) Nature Preserve outside Seaford.
“Delaware has great outdoor spaces, and we should all take steps to protect our environment for future generations,” said Governor John Carney. “This designation will help boost Delaware’s growing eco-tourism industry, and add value to our $3.3. billion dollar tourism industry, by bringing even more visitors to our great state. We’re proud to recognize and protect the special nature of our preserves, and help promote a national effort to recognize the wonder of these areas on Arbor Day.”
“Delaware is proud to dedicate a forest in each county into the Old Growth Forest Network.” said DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin. “By doing so, we are furthering protection of forests, promoting these special places, and recognizing the importance for future generations to enjoy. We can be proud of this distinction.”
The Old Growth Forest Network is a national non-profit organization whose goal is to connect people with nature by identifying and protecting mature forests, like those found in Delaware’s three nature preserves. The network seeks to preserve, protect, and promote the few remaining stands of old-growth forest in the U.S.
The organization was founded in 2011 by scientist and author Joan Maloof of Salisbury University, now executive director of the organization, which is based in Easton, Md.
“As a Delaware native I am thrilled that my home state is the first state to have all of its counties represented in the Old Growth Forest Network,” said Maloof. “To be fair, with only three counties Delaware was one of the easiest states to complete, but it is still a significant accomplishment. To have all the forests dedicated into the network in a single day is very exciting. These forests will be forever protected from logging, and will be open to the public. Countless organisms will find the habitat they need in these shady forests, and generations of humans will find peace under their leafy canopies.”
The Old Growth Forest Network also has dedicated forests in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, and is expanding across the U.S.
Media Contact: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Vol. 48, No. 93