DNREC Updates: Ommelanden shooting range by appointment only; Brandywine Zoo, Go Ape course to remain closed

DOVER, Del. – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced the following changes to three recreational areas as a result of COVID-19 issues:

  • Ommelanden shooting range near New Castle will be open reduced hours of noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 25 and beginning Thursday, March 26, will be available by pre-scheduled appointment only. Due to reduced availability of part-time staff as well as the need to control the number of users, those who want to use the range for firearms or archery must call 302-382-1074 in advance to arrange a time, leaving a message if the call is not answered. Range use appointments will be provided when staffing allows within the range’s normal hours of operation but may not be available at certain normal operating times. Operating hours and other information about the range may be found at the Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center webpage.
  • The Brandywine Zoo and the Go Ape course at Lums Pond State Park will remain closed at this time. The zoo was closed in January for construction of its new Madagascar Exhibit, and was schedule to reopen in April. The Go Ape course had not yet opened to the public for the 2020 season.

Additional resources, information and status of DNREC business and operations are available at dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/coronavirus and destateparks.com/Covid19.

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, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov


DNREC announces Go Ape will add Treetop Junior Course in Lums Pond State Park

Junior course set to open late summer, catering to youngsters
ages 6-12 with rope ladders, tree swings and ziplines

BEAR – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation and Go Ape, billed as “the nation’s premier Treetop Adventure company,” have announced the addition of a Treetop Junior course to its already-popular Go Ape course at Lums Pond State Park. Planned to open in late summer, the junior course will provide younger residents and tourists the chance to climb rope ladders, swing from trees, and zoom down ziplines, just like their older family members. This is the company’s fourth Treetop Junior course nationally, making it a unique attraction in Delaware for Lums Pond State Park. cid:image001.png@01D1EF1E.BE54C960

“The Go Ape course has proven to be an incredibly popular amenity for the park,” said Ray Bivens, Director of Delaware State Parks. “This new junior course will help expand the adventure to younger children and help more families experience Delaware’s natural resources in a unique way.”

Go Ape’s Treetop Junior course is a fun-filled experience of tree-to-tree crossings, including the Pannjärve Bridge, Yamazoe Steps, over 18 additional obstacles, and 2 ziplines at heights of 20 feet above the ground. While designed for adventurers ages 6-12, the smaller course also welcomes adults who may want to navigate it for starting zipline experience.

“Opening a course in Lums Pond just for younger children is thrilling because it supports our mission to help everyone life adventurously,” said Go Ape Managing Director Dan D’Agostino. “Parents will get an immense amount of satisfaction from seeing their kids enjoying the park from the trees, but also seeing their sense of accomplishment as they work through the course’s obstacles.”

The safety systems are designed so that participants stay attached the entire time they are in the trees. Participants only become unattached when back on the ground. Children under six must be accompanied on the course by an adult, while children 6-15 must be supervised by an adult either from on the course or from the ground.

All of Go Ape’s courses are designed to minimize any impact on the trees and the environment. Go Ape courses use clever braces that grip trunks and the platforms rest on these. The system allows the brace to expand as the tree grows. All trees are inspected annually by independent arborists to ensure their continued health. 

The new Junior Treetop Adventure will cost $28, and reservations are recommended through www.goape.com. For directions, visit: https://goape.com/Locations/Delaware/Bear. The GPS Location is Lums Pond State Park, 1042 Howell School Road, Bear, DE 19701

About Go Ape
Go Ape’s mission is to encourage everyone to live life adventurously while treading lightly in the most beautiful places and spaces in the US. A Go Ape Treetop Adventure Course is an outdoor experience that provides participants two to three hours of outdoor fun and exercise. Courses allow participants to explore the park from an otherwise unobtainable vantage point while navigating through the treetops using zip lines, obstacles and Tarzan swings. A love of the outdoors and our desire to share that passion demands that we take care of our little corner of the forest.  From donating our time and resources to local community and environmental groups, to providing a unique view from the treetops, we strive to be socially and environmentally responsible. All of Go Ape’s U.S. courses are located in public parks and giving back to the parks and community is a significant aspect of our values.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902, or Jeff Davis, Go Ape, 410-372-0827 (office) 410-916-4835 (cell) or jeff@JDPRsocial.com

Vol. 46, No. 294


Go Ape zip line Treetop Adventure opens at Lums Pond State Park

BEAR (June 21, 2013) – DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara joined State Representative. Valerie Longhurst, and other state and parks officials on the brand new zip lines at the new Go Ape Treetop Adventure at Lums Pond State Park. It’s the first zip line treetop adventure course in a state park on the East Coast; the first treetop adventure course in Delaware, and Go Ape’s first partnership with a state park. Under the public/private partnership, Go Ape and DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation are offering Delawareans this unique outdoor adventure.

“This is a first for Delaware and I’m delighted Go Ape decided to locate at beautiful Lums Pond State Park,” said Governor Jack Markell. “This regional attraction will benefit Delaware tourism and our local businesses by drawing nearby visitors and people from surrounding states. That’s a boon for our tourism economy and for Lums Pond State Park. It’s a fun and healthy adventure and another great reason to get outside in Delaware this summer.”

Go Ape is a highly interactive treetop adventure where participants are equipped with harnesses, pulleys and carabineers and receive a 30-minute training session before they are turned loose into the trees. The course at Lums Pond State Park will provide visitors with two to three hours of outdoor fun and exercise while they navigate more than 40 obstacles situated in the treetops of the park.

“We are so excited to come to Delaware and bring with us some of the longest zip lines Go Ape has anywhere in the U.S.,” said Dan D’Agostino, USA Managing Director for Go Ape. “Because of its water features, Lums Pond State Park is the perfect location to create the first zip lines to cross a body of water in a state park.”

The course spans seven acres and features five zip lines, four of which will fly participants over Lums Pond. Also included are two Tarzan swings and a series of rope ladders, bridges, swings and trapezes, many with views of the pond.

“We welcome Go Ape’s low-impact recreation approach and commend them for their attention to protecting the trees and the environment around the course,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “We are so pleased that Delaware families have their own zip line adventures available to them at a great location like Lums Pond State Park. This is a course that allows us to ‘live life adventurously,’ and experience the park like never before, from 50 feet up in the trees, hanging by a wire. I challenge everyone to take a ride down, to get outdoors and enjoy all that Delaware has to offer in nature this summer. I’ll see you in the trees.”

Go Ape’s mission is to support park departments across the country. To date, Go Ape has developed rewarding partnerships with park departments in Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Rockville, Md. and Williamsburg, Va. Under each partnership, a portion of every ticket sold goes back to the respective park department while 100 percent of the capital investment is paid for by Go Ape.

“Go Ape’s attractions are a perfect fit for Delaware, and a great tool for boosting our visibility as a tourist destination,” said Linda Parkowski, director of the Delaware Tourism Office. “The zip lines will attract people who are looking for outdoor adventures, which are very popular with travelers.”

In addition, Go Ape leads park stewardship programs, develops educational signage, hosts yearly fundraisers to raise funds for the park, and provides free and discounted tickets to underserved and special needs communities. Go Ape aligns its goals and activities to those of its park partners to encourage the sustainability and health of the parks and the communities they serve.

“A lot of people have the idea that they need to leave Delaware to participate in high-adventure outdoor activities,” said DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation Director Charles Salkin. “But, Delaware State Parks offer rock climbing, mountain biking, adventure races, ocean kayaking and much more. Adding the Go Ape course to the mix makes our state park system the go-to place for this level of outdoor experience.”

For more information, visit http://youtu.be/4Y96umTPAZ8 to see a one-minute, action-packed video of people on the Delaware Go Ape course.

More information, including directions can be found at www.goape.com/zip-line/delaware-lums-pond-state-park. GPS directions are: Lums Pond State Park, 1042 Howell School Road, Bear, 19701.

You can become a fan of “Go Ape USA” on Facebook or follow @GoApeUSA on Twitter. To see video of the Go Ape experience, visit Go Ape’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/goapeusa. To book treetime, go to www.goape.com or call 1-800-971-8271. The cost is $35 (ages 10-17) and $55 for adults.

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

Vol. 43, No. 253