Delaware celebrates 50th anniversary of Earth Day

DNREC hosts a virtual Earth Day Scavenger Hunt and Pledge

DOVER, Del. – Delawareans are invited to join millions of people around the globe to celebrate Earth Day on April 22. The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will host a virtual event through the end of the month for Delawareans to celebrate the natural world, engage in environmental education and contribute to a resolve for sustainable change.

While annual volunteer clean-up events and other community activities have been canceled this year, the Earth Day 2020 Scavenger Hunt and Pledge focuses on how to take care of the planet.

Beginning today, look for daily questions posted on Facebook, search for clues on DNREC’s website, and reply to the original post with answers. Participants will be challenged by a range of questions related to climate change, recycling, state parks and more. Winners will be selected randomly each day for prizes, including Delaware State Parks passes and eco-friendly products.

Delawareans are also invited to enjoy special interactive home-based activities and post selfies on to be eligible for random prize drawings. Everyone is encouraged to take the online pledge to adopt activities with a positive environmental impact, not just for Earth Day, but all year long.

“At DNREC, we make every day Earth Day – working to build a cleaner and healthier Delaware,” said Secretary Shawn Garvin. “There is no more timely opportunity than the 50th anniversary of Earth Day for Delawareans to join us and other people around the globe to promote the conservation of our planet.”

The first Earth Day in 1970 was a coast-to-coast celebration and movement to mobilize an emerging public consciousness about pollution. Earth Day led to passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

In Delaware at that time, the General Assembly had made a commitment to preserving and protecting the environment by passing a bill in 1969 to create a new state agency that would soon become DNREC. Now in its 50th year, DNREC offers programs that support cleaner transportation, energy conservation, renewable energy, recycling and more.


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 DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contact: Nikki Lavoie,


DNREC offers compost bins and rain barrels at discount prices

Both items must be pre-ordered in advance and are available pick up-only

DOVER, Del. – Delaware residents may pre-order environmentally beneficial compost bins and rain barrels at discount prices during an online sale in May. Made available by DNREC’s Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances, in conjunction with the Division of Watershed Stewardship, advance purchases must be made for both items at before the deadlines listed below:

• Kent County: May 3 pre-order deadline. Pickup: Saturday, May 9. DNREC Offices, 155 Commerce Way, Suite B, Dover, DE 19904. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (pickup: rear door at location).
• New Castle County. May 10 pre-order deadline. Pickup: Saturday, May 16. DNREC Offices, 391 Lukens Drive, New Castle, DE 19720. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (pickup: rear door at location)
• Sussex County: May 31 pre-order deadline. Pickup: Saturday, June 6. DNREC Lewes Field Facility, 901 Pilottown Road, Lewes, DE 19958

The FreeGarden Earth compost bins, offered through DNREC for $50 each, are made from recycled materials, and require no assembly. Compost bins have features that enhance the decomposition process and help make composting more efficient. These compact units transform food scraps and yard waste into a nutrient-rich soil amendment that replaces traditional fertilizers to produce healthier plants and vegetables in home gardens.

The 55-gallon FreeGarden Rain rain barrels made available by DNREC at $60 each, or about half the retail price, are attractive and easy to move, install, and use. They come with an insect resistant stainless-steel screen, three additional spigot mounting locations, as well as a childproof lid and square shape ideal for flush-to-wall and corner installations.

Rain barrels collect and store the water from roofs and downspouts for future uses such as watering lawns, gardens, and house plants; cleaning off gardening tools; and washing your car. Rain barrels help to lower your water bills, particularly in the summer months by collecting free water each year! Rain barrels play an important role in protecting our water resources by collecting the stormwater runoff from our homes before it reaches our local streams and rivers.

Compost bins and rain barrels must be picked up between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the chosen location and only those items ordered will be available. Buyers should note that no additional bins, barrels, or accessories will be sold at the pick-up locations.

For more information about composting, please visit DNREC’s Composting webpage or email or call Don Long of DNREC’s Division of Waste & Hazardous Substances at or phone: 302-739-9403. For more information about DNREC’s non-point source program, which works toward reducing water pollution, please visit the DNREC Nonpoint Source Program webpage or email or call Phil Miller of the Division of Watershed Stewardship at or phone: 302-608-5468.


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 Waste and Hazardous Substances ensures Delaware’s wastes are managed to protect human life, health, safety and the environment. The Division of Watershed Stewardship develops and implements innovative watershed assessment, monitoring and implementation activities. For more information, visit the website and connect with @DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.


DNREC sponsoring Earth Day events throughout the state

DOVER – In observance of Earth Day, Monday, April 22, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control encourages all Delawareans to take part in the many activities across the state that not only help the environment but also offer an opportunity for enjoyment of the outdoors.


Thursday, April 18

Earth Day Hike and Meet Up at Grain H2O
Lums Pond State Park, Summit Marina, Bear – 6 p.m.
In celebration of Earth Day, take a refreshing hike around the park. Afterward, meet up at Summit Marina’s Grain H20 restaurant and enjoy an elixir (non-alcoholic drink) such as the Peach Agave Tea, Berry Blast or Paloma Fizz. Pre-registration required. Call 302-368-6989 for cost and information.


Friday, April 19

Full Moon Hike
Bellevue State Park, 800 Carr Road, Wilmington – 7:30 p.m.
Take an hour-long hike under the full moon. Look and listen for nocturnal animals. Wear comfortable shoes as we will venture into the woods. Call 302-761-6963 by 4 p.m. the last business day before the hike for meeting location. Event free of charge.

Full Moon Hike
Holts Landing State Park, Dagsboro – 7:30 p.m.
Hike the Sea-Hawk Trail with a naturalist at night! Although the full moon will provide some light, learn how to rely on other senses to navigate this 1.7-mile trail, and find out about some of the nocturnal creatures that call this park home. Pre-registration required; call 302-227-2800. $5 per person.

Park After Dark: Full Moon Fridays
White Clay Creek State Park, Newark – 7:30 pm
Meet at Possum Hill Entrance for Tri-Valley Trail and join a park naturalist for an evening hike to enjoy the moon’s journey in the sky. Pre-registration required, $5 per person; register with payment by noon on Friday and receive $1 discount. For information, call 302-368-6900.


Saturday, April 20

Party for the Planet: Earth Day Celebration
Brandywine Zoo, 1001 North Park Drive, Wilmington – 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
What can you do to help save species? Learn about what you can do to make every day Earth Day during this special event. Event free of charge.

Down to Earth Hike
Cape Henlopen State Park, 15099 Cape Henlopen Drive, Lewes – 11 a.m.
Celebrate Earth Day with a hike searching for early spring plants and animals. Dress to explore outside. For ages 7 and older with an adult. Limit 20. Pre-registration recommended; call 302-645-6852. Event free of charge.


Monday, April 22 (Official Earth Day)

Earth Day Volunteer Project
Killens Pond State Park, 5025 Killens Pond Road, Felton – 10 a.m. – noon
Meet at the nature center and give back this Earth Day. Please wear close-toed shoes, bring a water bottle and dress for the weather. Gloves and tools will be provided. Please register online at For more information please contact: Volunteer Manager Alison Romano, at or 302-900-1423.

Earth Day Coast-to-Coast Clean-Up
Delaware Seashore State Park, Rehoboth Beach – 10 a.m.
Help keep Delaware Seashore clean from coast to coast! Meet at the Indian River Life-Saving Station for a staff-led beach clean-up, then travel to Savages Ditch to clean up debris found in the salt marsh. Preregistration required; call 302-227-6991.

If These Trees Could Talk Walking Tour
First State Heritage Park, Dover, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Travel around The Green and experience some natural history, tree identification, and hear some of the events to which these trees have borne witness. Walking tours leave from the John Bell House on the hour and last approximately 45 minutes. Event free of charge. For information, call 302-739-9194.

Earth Day Hike
Trap Pond State Park, 33587 Bald Cypress Lane, Laurel – 5 p.m.
Join a park naturalist at the nature center for a hike to celebrate Earth Day. Event free of charge. For information, call 302-875-5153.

Earth Day Hike
Brandywine Creek State Park, 41 Adams Dam Road, Wilmington – 5 p.m.
Join us as we enjoy this leisurely hike through the park. The meadows will be blooming, birds will be chirping, and we will be basking in the beauty of the park! Hike will be approximately one hour. Event free of charge; park entrance fees in effect. For information, call 302-655-5740.


Wednesday, April 24

Stroll with the Superintendent at Yorklyn Bridge
Auburn Valley State Park, Yorklyn – 10 a.m.
Join Auburn Valley State Park Superintendent Laura Lee to explore the historic Yorklyn industrial district. Meet at the Yorklyn Bridge Trail parking lot. For information, call 302-239-5687. Event free of charge.


Saturday, April 27

Pre-Order Compost Bin Sale Distribution
Blue Hen Corporate Center, 655 South Bay Road, Dover – 8 a.m. – noon
(Adjacent to the Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s Collection Event)
DNREC’s Recycling Program is offering compost bins that can be pre-ordered online at a discount price of $50, half the retail price of the bins. The bins must be picked up by the purchaser at any of three locations: Dover, Lewes, and Delaware City. The Dover pick up is on April 27, while the other pick up locations are later in spring and early summer. Deadline to order compost bins for Dover pickup is Friday, April 19. To order, visit For more information, call 302-739-9403.

Wild About Whales Earth Week Program
DuPont Nature Center, 2992 Lighthouse Road, Milford – 11 a.m.
Did you know that whale poop is beneficial in many marine environments? In honor of the 2019 Earth Day theme – Protecting our Species – we will learn about whales and how they are interconnected with so many of our ocean species and ecosystems. Preregistration is requested by calling 302-422-1329 or emailing

To see all of DNREC’s Earth Day events take a look at our Departmental Earth Day Calendar Page.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 49, No. 101

Governor Carney: Small State, Big Steps on Climate

The below text is from Governor Carney’s Facebook Note published on Friday, April 20, 2018.

On Sunday, April 22, we all come together to celebrate Earth Day. But we work every day to show that even one of the smallest states can have a big impact when it comes to reducing carbon emissions, preserving our farmlands and combating climate change.

Adithi, Emma, Julia, Rachel, and Madison, third grade students at North Star Elementary, share their ideas on how to help the environment with Governor Carney.
Adithi, Emma, Julia, Rachel, and Madison, third grade students at North Star Elementary, share their ideas on how to help the environment with Governor Carney.

I started Earth Week with a visit to North Star Elementary School where I met with Adithi, Madison, Rachel, Julia and Emma – five, nine-year-olds who created the aptly-named “We Help the Earth” group. We talked about recycling, electric cars and the need to address litter. They also showed me their outdoor classroom, and an indigenous Willow Oak tree they planted a few days earlier. These girls, and many children like them, are the future of our state; we owe it to them to focus on these issues now.


The Time is Now

We need to pay attention to climate change now. Delaware is experiencing sea level rise at two times the global average. We are the lowest lying state in the nation, with 380 miles of shoreline, making us extremely vulnerable to any sea change. Any changes in weather patterns jeopardize Delaware’s $8 billion agricultural industry and tourism economy. For the sake of our economy and our environment, it’s crucial we address climate change.


Standing Together

That’s why Delaware has taken steps to join the national – and international – dialogue on conservation, carbon reduction and climate change. In 2017, Delaware signed on to the U.S. Climate Alliance – a coalition of states and Puerto Rico – which upholds the goals of the global Paris Accord. Because of this promise, Delaware is committed to reducing our emissions by at least 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025.

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Senator Tom Carper, Ranking Member of the Committee for the Environment and Public Works, to discuss Delaware’s role in acting on climate change. We covered all issues from electric fleets to the Clean Air Act. Check out our discussion in this video:



Celebrate Earth Day on April 22 and Every Day

On Earth Day, I plan to join many other Delawareans in celebrating the wonderful things that come with preserving our planet, including kayaking on Trapp Pond, zip-lining over Lum’s Pond and enjoying a relaxing on the Delaware beaches. And we will continue to work on preserving those areas for generations to come.

Adithi, Madison, Rachel, Julia and Emma – I’d love to become the newest member of the “We Help the Earth” group. In Delaware, we remain committed to finding solutions to problems that impact our state and our planet.


Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program


WHAT: Earth Day-related press briefing in which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services for becoming the first state partner nationally in its Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program. The disposal program protects the ozone layer and reduces greenhouse gases by properly disposing of old air-conditioning units, refrigerators, freezers and other appliances, and by recovering refrigerant and foam from those appliances. RAD’s other partners include retailers, municipalities, utilities, manufacturers and universities.

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 21

WHERE: Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
Herman Holloway Campus
1901 N. DuPont Highway (U.S. 13)
New Castle, DE
(Maintenance Garage – behind Main Administration Building)

SPEAKERS: EPA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin
DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf
Brian Conners, President and Chief Operation Officer, ARCA Advanced Processing, Philadelphia

DETAILS: DHSS operates 156 buildings across the state, including five health-related facilities, many with a consistent turnover of appliances. In 2014, DHSS recycled 8,605 pounds of old air-conditioning units, refrigerators, freezers and other appliances. The goal for 2015 is to recycle and properly dispose of more than 6 tons of appliances.

NOTE: Pallets of old appliances, which are stored in the garage, will be the backdrop. There will be an opportunity for one-on-one interviews with the speakers after the program.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware’s citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498

Delaware Health and Social ServicesDivision of Public Health