DNREC to resume state park campground rentals June 1

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will reopen its campgrounds in Delaware State Parks Monday in response to Governor John Carney’s removal of the emergency ban on short-term rental units starting June 1. The mandatory 14-day quarantine for out-of-state travelers will also be lifted Monday.

Governor John Carney on Tuesday announced that the State of Delaware will lift the ban on short-term rental units and the quarantine on June 1 as part of the rolling reopening of Delaware’s economy.

All state park campsites, cabins, cottages and yurts were temporarily closed from March 24 through May 31 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Division of Parks & Recreation issued refunds for reservations through May 31. The current liberal cancelation policy will remain in effect through June 15, allowing those with reservations to cancel them and receive a full refund.

Camping is available after June 1 at the following state parks:

Cape Henlopen: Tents, RVs, cabins

Delaware Seashore: Tents, RVs

Indian River Marina: Cottages

Killens Pond: Tents, RVs, cabins

Lums Pond: Tents, RVs, yurts

Trap Pond: Tents, RVs, yurts, cabins

All cabins and cottages will be sanitized by a professional cleaning service between rentals to allow Parks staff to focus on cleaning common park areas. Some amenities will remain closed until further notice, including nature centers and playgrounds, due to COVID-19.

Campers are required to heed all current safety protocols in Delaware State Parks in order to help limit the spread of COVID-19. All visitors to Delaware State Parks must carry a face mask or other cloth covering and wear it in restrooms, any other enclosed space and when social distancing of at least 6 feet cannot be maintained between members of different households. When camping, visitors are encouraged to report any safety concerns to a Campground Host or the park’s office.

To reserve a campsite, go to destateparks.com/reservations or call 1-877-98 PARKS (1-877-987-2757).

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 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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

 

 


Celebration held for DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation’s Veterans Conservation Corps

DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation’s Veterans Conservation Corps members at end-of-season celebration at Trap Pond State Park Nature Center, managed by DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation. Pictured left to right, Charles Harris, Jae Moore, Taylor Burkett, John Byrd, DNREC Parks & Recreation Operations Manager Matt Ritter, Joshua Yawn, Rhiannon Dillon, Mark Kammer, Shannen Dillon, Terry Hines, Andrew Hanson, DNREC Parks & Recreation Administrator Greg Abbott, Marquis Stewart, Kayleigh Velott, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Earl Bowman, Dawn Duman, Enid Wallace Simms, DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation Director Ray Bivens, Glenn Catchings, Julie Lawrence, Ian Silva, Glen Moore.
DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation’s Veterans Conservation Corps members at end-of-season celebration at Trap Pond State Park Nature Center, managed by DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation. Pictured left to right, Charles Harris, Jae Moore, Taylor Burkett, John Byrd, DNREC Parks & Recreation Operations Manager Matt Ritter, Joshua Yawn, Rhiannon Dillon, Mark Kammer, Shannen Dillon, Terry Hines, Andrew Hansen, DNREC Parks & Recreation Administrator Greg Abbott, Marquis Stewart, Kayleigh Velott, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Earl Bowman, Dawn Duman, Enid Wallace Simms, DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation Director Ray Bivens, Glenn Catchings, Julie Lawrence, Ian Silva, Glen Moore.

LAUREL – Eighteen Veterans Conservation Corps (VCC) members spent 11 months in DNREC’s state parks performing trail maintenance, meadow management, invasive species eradication, and assisting in construction of boardwalks, solar panels, yurts and fire rings, and dozens of other park based projects. During a celebration of their service at Trap Pond State Park Nature Center, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and others thanked the veterans, immediate family members and retired veterans for all of their hard work in state parks managed by DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation.

“Not only have these veterans and their immediate family members sacrificed for the good of their country, they have also made a tremendous impact in our state parks that is invaluable,” Secretary Garvin said. “They have helped promote, protect, and conserve Delaware’s natural wonders and that has created outstanding benefits for our state parks and the people who use them. I cannot express how grateful we are for their hard work.”

The VCC celebration highlighted the hard work and progress made over the past 11 months by the 18 members of the 2017 Veterans Conservation Corps, who began the program in October of 2016. DNREC’s Delaware State Parks VCC program provides high quality jobs and environmental opportunities for veterans and their immediate family members and military retirees. Corps members conduct meaningful environmental and park-focused activities as a means of providing a lasting benefit for state parks. VCC is committed to engaging veterans in important conservation and park projects while providing hands-on skills and knowledge enabling members to find employment in the natural resources field.

For more information on the VCC, contact Program Manager Karen Minner, DNREC’s Delaware State Parks Veterans Conservation Corps, 302-739-9208. For information on how to apply, visit: http://www.destateparks.com/volunteers/americorps/military.asp.

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

Vol. 47, No.189

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Changes in lifeguard hours at Delaware Seashore and Fenwick Island state parks announced

DOVER – Hours and locations for lifeguarded ocean swimming beaches in Delaware State Parks will change beginning next week, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation announced today.

Beginning Monday, Aug. 21 through Friday, Aug 25, Delaware Seashore State Park’s Tower Road will be unguarded. Beginning Monday, Aug. 28 through Friday, Sept. 1, Delaware Seashore State Park’s Tower Road and Fenwick Island State Park’s Fenwick Lot will be unguarded. Weekends will be guarded at both locations.

All other state park guarded swimming beaches including the main beach at Cape Henlopen State Park and the South Indian River Inlet side of Delaware Seashore State Park, will be guarded every day through Labor Day with limited staff. Smaller or limited swimming areas will be available through Labor Day.

All swimming beaches will be guarded on weekends through Labor Day. Lifeguard hours will not change, and will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

Reductions in hours were necessary as a result of lifeguards leaving the area to return to high school, college and school sports camps.

For more information, call the Division of Parks & Recreation’s Operations Section at 302-739-9200.

Vol. 47, No.187


End of Year Celebration held for DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation’s Youth Conservation Corps

FELTON –Fifty-eight Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) members spent 14,000 hours this summer in DNREC’s Delaware State Parks removing hundreds of acres of invasive plants, cleaning, painting, staffing park offices, planting, mulching, building displays at the Delaware State Fair, and even constructing stocks to be used at Dover’s 18th Century Market Fair this fall, to name just a few. During an end of year celebration for their service, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin and others thanked the participants for all of their hard work in state parks this summer.

“This job may not have always been easy, but the impact you have made this summer is far greater than you will ever know,” said Secretary Garvin. “You have developed a stronger connection to the nature around you. We need you and the environmentally-based knowledge and abilities you have learned this summer. You have made a major difference and our collective hats are off to you. We could not have had such a successful summer season without you, and celebrating you is a small thanks for all you have done.”

The YCC fosters an interest in nature-related career paths, and figures bear this out. Before the program, 68.9 percent of this year’s YCC members were interested in environmental science or natural resource management. Following the program, 80 percent have indicated that they are interested in those careers.

DNREC’s Delaware State Parks YCC program provides high quality summer jobs and environmental opportunities for young people aged 16-21. Corps members conduct meaningful environmental and park-focused activities as a means of achieving personal growth. Through service, participants gain skills, confidence, and see first-hand the benefit their hard work makes in providing a lasting benefit for public lands and communities. YCC is committed to engaging young people in important conservation and park projects while providing learning that fosters teamwork, self-esteem, social responsibility and respect for the environment.

For more information on the YCC, contact Ashleigh McKinney, program manager,

DNREC’s Delaware State Parks Youth Conservation Corps, 302-538-1732, or visit: http://www.destateparks.com/ycc.

Vol. 47, No. 185

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Can-Do Playground featured in national park crowdfunding campaign

WILMINGTON – On the heels of its 10th anniversary celebration, the Can-Do Playground at Alapocas Run State Park has been selected to be featured on the national crowdfunding site, “Fund Your Park,” by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). The crowdfunding campaign launched this week by the NRPA, to raise $10,000 for the expansion of the unique playground administered by DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation.

The Can-Do Playground was chosen to be featured through the NRPA’s competitive grant process. “Fund Your Park” is a crowdfunding platform designed by NRPA exclusively for park and recreation agencies and donations can be made through a secure site at: http://www.fundyourpark.org/campaign/detail/4892.

“Strong partnerships have brought great results for the Can-Do Playground,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “Working with community partners such as the Wilmington Area Rotary Clubs and the NRPA, we have the opportunity to expand and enhance recreational experiences for Delaware residents and visitors of all abilities. The Can-Do Playground is a shining example of what ongoing support and dedication can accomplish.”

DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation and six greater Wilmington area Rotary Clubs — Brandywine Hundred, Brandywine Naamans, Caesar Rodney, Wilmington and Wilmington West Rotary Clubs — conceived and developed the playground a decade ago, and have reunited to revitalize and expand the state’s first barrier-free public playground for children of all abilities.

The Can-Do Playground promotes cooperative play between children with and without disabilities, and engages them in a wide range of activities essential to their social, emotional, cognitive and physical development.

The money raised for the project will:

  • Expand the project’s footprint by 5,000 square feet, adding additional pieces of nature-themed interpretive equipment aimed at improving the play experience of children with intellectual disabilities and those with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder;
  • Enhance the parent-child bonding experience with “expression swings,” configured with a face-to-face design;
  • Replace play components worn by weather and use with panels that add auditory, tactile, and visual experiences throughout the playground;
  • Optimize the rubberized surface to ensure ease of access for children with mobility disabilities; and
  • Add an accessible area for picnic tables and ground level music activities.

 

The NRPA is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 50,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space.

Vol. 47, No. 167

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