Restoration of Junction & Breakwater Trail begins July 11, with temporary closure of some trail segments

LEWES – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation announced today that portions of the Junction & Breakwater Trail, originally constructed in 2003, will undergo repairs and renovation beginning July 11. Nearly two miles of trail surface will be restored on sections lying between Hebron Road, at the south end, and the Holland Glade pedestrian bridge on the north side of the trail. Other smaller segments of the trail will be repaired between the Hawkseye community and the Wolfe Neck parking lot trailhead.

Map of closure areas.
Map of areas to be closed for repairs.

Repairs will focus on reconstructing rough exposed rock trail sections, which will be resurfaced with stone dust to create a smooth walkable and bikeable tread. Other repairs include eliminating areas of standing water and washouts, and replacing fencing.

DNREC’s contractor on the Junction & Breakwater Trail restoration, George & Lynch Inc., will complete the project in two stages. The first stage of the work will take place from Monday, July 11 through Friday, July 15. The second stage of restoration spans Monday, July 18 – Friday, July 22. The trail will open for use Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17. The Division of Parks & Recreation is putting forth trail restoration plans with a contingency for weather circumstances that could alter the contractor’s work schedule.

The Junction & Breakwater Trail and the Gordons Pond Trail are part of a 15-mile regional network linking Lewes and Rehoboth. The Junction & Breakwater Trail between Gills Neck Road and the Hawkseye community will be open continuously. Trail users also are encouraged to use the Gordons Pond Trail for recreational activities while the Junction & Breakwater Trail restoration is in progress.

This trail restoration is a cooperative project between DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation and the Federal Recreational Trails Program. For questions on this project and for up-to-date information about it, please contact Superintendent Paul Faircloth at the Cape Henlopen State Park Office, 302-645-8983.

CONTACT: Beth Shockley, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 46, No. 242


Governor Unveils Vision for Statewide Trails and Pathways

Map of proposed trails and pathways from DelDOTLAUREL –  Among a group of outdoors and health organizations gathered for a “Sussex Outdoors” summit today at Trap Pond State Park, Governor Markell previewed his vision for a long term “Statewide Trails and Pathways” project for Delaware.  The Governor has charged the Delaware Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation with bringing the vision to life.  The proposed program would establish an interconnected network of pathways and trails throughout the state to support non-motorized travel and recreational trails that could be enjoyed by Delawareans and by visitors.

“I want to make it a priority to build a world-class interconnected trail network in Delaware.  As an avid cyclist, I know the enjoyment one can receive from being outside,” said Governor Markell.  “ These proposed projects will expand or begin trail networks, inside and outside of state parks in all three counties.   They will help us realize a truly walkable, bikeable Delaware that all Delawareans can use and enjoy.   Our commitment to invest in outdoor opportunities helps ensure the quality of life Delawareans deserve.  At the same time, we stimulate job growth through investment in infrastructure.”

 

The Governor’s goals for the proposed Statewide Trails and Pathways program are to:

 

  • Build a world class interconnected pathway network
  • Support creation of local jobs
  • Link communities internally to support local sustainable economies, and externally to grow connections between neighborhoods, towns and cities
  • Develop sustainable practices in the creation of the network, such as supporting native landscaping and natural habitats
  • Support health communities by providing affordable, active transportation choices
  • Re-establish Delaware in the Top Ten of Bicycle Friendly states  (we’re at #17 right now)
  • And, develop strategies for the ongoing maintenance and upgrades of existing facilities.

DelDOT and DNREC have identified seventeen (17) proposed projects for discussion and possible construction over the next 2-3 years, covered  by an initial investment of $7 million earmarked for trails in the 2012 Bond Bill.   This funding will maximize the state’s ability to leverage federal and private dollars for these projects.

Today, the Governor previewed the plan, by identifying the four Sussex County projects are on the list:

 

  • a proposed a rail-to-trail from Georgetown to Lewes to Cape Henlopen, with the first phase located in Lewes
  • a proposed Junction and Breakwater Trail, to complete the missing links to Lewes and Rehoboth at the north and south ends of the trail
  • a proposed complete recreational trail at Gordons Pond in Cape Henlopen State Park linking the northern and southern portions of the park
  • a proposed partnership with Ocean View, Bethany and South Bethany to construct a recreational trail along the Assawoman Canal

A map of the proposed trails and pathway project areas in Sussex County can be found here.

Tomorrow, at the Delaware Bike Summit to be held at the University of Delaware’s Virden Center in Lewes, DelDOT Secretary Shailen Bhatt and DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara will sign a Memorandum of Agreement outlining the responsibilities and activities of each agency to build our trails network, with financial stewardship of the program shared by both agencies.  They will also unveil the New Castle County and Kent County proposed trails and pathways projects to biking advocates, elected officials and community leaders who are discussing ways to make Delaware more bicycle friendly.

DNREC and DelDOT will also conduct a series of workshops on proposed trails so that property owners, community groups, and other interested citizens have an opportunity for input on the locations and types of trails to be constructed.   According to the latest State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan survey, conducted by DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation, 91 percent of Delawareans consider outdoor recreation important to them personally.


Sussex Outdoors Summit kicks off campaign to champion outdoor, family-friendly activity

LAUREL – Governor Jack Markell and other state and local officials announced their visions and support for “Sussex Outdoors,” a southern Delaware initiative that seeks to get families and children outdoors for physical activity and to create healthy lifestyles, at a summit on Thursday at Trapp Pond State Park. Attendees heard from national experts, state leaders, and outdoors and health organizations about strategies and opportunities for encouraging families to be more active outdoors.

Governor Markell, a nationally-recognized speaker on the importance of outdoor activity and honorary chair of Sussex Outdoors, announced his vision for a proposed trails and pathways plan to be developed through a collaborative effort of two state agencies, DNREC and DelDOT.

“These proposed projects will expand trail networks or begin trail networks, inside and outside of state parks in all three counties,” said Governor Markell. “They will help us realize a truly walkable, bikeable Delaware that all Delawareans can use and enjoy. Our continued commitment to invest in outdoor opportunities, both financially and through the efforts of community/government partnerships such as ‘Sussex Outdoors,’ will help us ensure the quality of life Delawareans deserve. By working together, we improve the health and wellbeing of our state’s children and stimulate job growth through investment in infrastructure at the same time.”

John Hollis, Sussex County Manager of Nemours Health and Prevention Services, one of the sponsors of the event, challenged summit attendees: “Sussex County has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control as one of 40 communities nationally that will focus on the lifestyle changes that will be healthier both physically and emotionally.”

Other sponsors of the summit were the Sussex County Council, Sussex County Health Promotion Coalition, Sanofi Aventis, and Bike Delaware. “Sussex Outdoors” is a partnership of DNREC Sussex County Council, Sussex Child Health Promotion Coalition, and Nemours Health and Prevention Services.

In addition to DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, state Agriculture Secretary Ed Kee and DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf, speakers promoting outdoor physical activity included Mark Fenton, one of the nation’s foremost experts on walking and host of the new PBS series, America’s Walking; Rich Killingsworth, Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition, and innovator of the Active Living by Design program.

All speakers emphasized the connection between sedentary lifestyles and poor health, and contrasted that with the link between physical activity and good health.

Attendees participated in workshops that included such topics as an overview of Sussex trails and current opportunities presented by Delaware State Parks, Sussex Master Planning and the Sussex Land Trust.

Keynote speakers issued a call of action challenging each leader to encourage active outdoor activity wherever and with whomever they may come in contact with. “We passed along to everyone the importance of engaging in active outside activity, wherever that may be,” Hollis continued. “We want this call to action to go viral at the community and state level for everyone to get out and enjoy the outdoors.”