Governor, Secretaries Dig into Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative

 Gov. John Carney joined Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Department of Agriculture Secretary Michael T. Scuse and volunteers April 11 to plant trees on farmland recently acquired by DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation for Killens Pond State Park. Pictured, from left to right, STRIVE program student Richard Bebber, Sen. Dave Lawson, Secretary Scuse, Gov. Carney, Bank of American volunteer Crystal Clough and Secretary Garvin plant a ceremonial white oak tree on the property.

 

In recognition of Earth Month and as part of the Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative, Gov. John Carney joined Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, Department of Agriculture Secretary Michael T. Scuse and volunteers Monday to plant trees on land recently acquired by the DNREC Division of Parks and Recreation in Felton.

In November, Gov. Carney kicked off the Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative (TEDI) with the goal of planting 1 million trees – or one tree for every Delaware resident. DNREC and DDA are adding hundreds of trees to that number through multiple TEDI plantings this spring, with several happening at Delaware State Parks.

Gov. Carney encouraged all Delawareans to join the fight against climate change by planting trees this spring.

“Delaware is not only a coastal state, it is also the country’s lowest-lying state and climate change is a very real threat to our future,” said Gov. Carney. “We need your help to reduce our carbon footprint and accomplish our commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26% by 2025. One simple yet effective way you can help reach that goal is to plant trees in your yards, public spaces, schools and other places in their communities, the benefits of which will be seen for generations to come.”

Volunteers from Bank of America and Dover High School yesterday planted about 100 trees funded by the initiative on the property, which expands Killens Pond State Park west to Route 13 and protects the main water source that feeds the pond at Killens – the Murderkill River. The Governor and Secretaries planted a ceremonial white oak tree, which is commonly found along the river.

“Trees play a crucial role in combating climate change and this TEDI planting is the perfect way to get new trees in the ground while recognizing volunteerism, the preservation of natural areas and open spaces, and Earth Month, which we celebrate every day at DNREC,” Secretary Garvin said. “I am grateful for the Bank of America staff and Dover High School STRIVE students who volunteered their time today to help expand Delaware’s tree canopy for the benefit of our planet and enjoyment of visitors to Killens Pond State Park.”

“Since its inception, the Delaware Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program has provided almost $1.85 million in matching tree grants for more than 585 projects in the First State – with more than 16,500 trees planted,” Secretary Scuse said. “This year, thanks to our cooperative partnerships with DNREC and the Governor’s Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative, it is my pleasure to announce we will be providing almost $137,000 to fund 23 community tree projects resulting in the planting of 2,950 trees.”

The 52-acre property, comprised of farmland and natural areas, lies within the riparian buffer of the Murderkill River and was purchased in 2020 through Delaware’s Open Space Program, administered by the Division of Parks and Recreation. The land grows Killens Pond State Park to nearly 1,500 acres and expands recreational opportunities for the park’s visitors.

Downstream and within the riparian buffer is the 540-acre Murderkill River Nature Preserve, which is managed by the Division of Parks and Recreation Office of Nature Preserves and protects essential wetlands.

The trees planted April 11 will further enhance the river’s water quality by expanding its protective buffer and will help Delaware reach its TEDI goal. TEDI is one key strategy of Delaware’s Climate Action Plan, which aims to offset the carbon emissions that are driving the climate change.

The Tree for Every Delawarean Initiative is a partnership between DDA’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, the DNREC Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy and other stakeholders.

Delawareans can add any trees they plant to the online TEDI Tracker, which shows location and other information about trees planted around the state since 2020. The web page, de.gov/tedi, also provides information on TEDI tree planting volunteer opportunities.

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 Enjoy the natural diversity of Delaware’s 17 state parks. Delawareans about the environment. The DNREC 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 @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts:

DDA: John Petersen, John.Petersen@delaware.gov or Stacey Hofmann, stacey.hofmann@delaware.gov

DNREC: Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov or JamesW.Lee@delaware.gov

###


DNREC Opens New Killens Pond State Park Boardwalk

Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin led the ribbon-cutting ceremony today for the new DNREC Killens Pond State Park boardwalk near Felton. Pictured, left to right, are: State Representative Charles Postles; Louise Warfield, Friends of Killens Pond State Park; Frank Newton, Friends of Killens Pond State Park; Delaware State Parks Director Ray Bivens; Wendy Aycoth, Friends of Killens Pond State Park; Governor Carney; Secretary Garvin; and State Senator Dave Lawson. /DNREC photo

 

Walkway Provides Safer Trail Connection, More Fishing Opportunities

To celebrate Earth Day today, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control cut the ribbon on its new Killens Pond State Park pedestrian boardwalk. The boardwalk will provide a safer trail connection along the eastern edge of Killens Pond, more appealing views while walking along the pond, and new fishing opportunities.

Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin hosted a small group to celebrate the grand opening of the boardwalk. The event is viewable on the Delaware State Parks YouTube page.

Previously, pedestrians and bicyclists attempting to navigate around the east end of pondside trail had to use the narrow shoulder of Killens Pond Road, which often has fast-traveling vehicles and was unsafe for those attempting to navigate the shoulder to the other side of the pond. It also provides a safer connection for campers to visit the Nature Center.

The boardwalk cost approximately $2.1 million, with 80% of that funding coming from the Federal Recreational Trails Program. Planning and design of the boardwalk began in 2017; construction began in November 2020 and the project was finished in early April. As part of this project, the boat launch parking lot at the southern end of the boardwalk was completely removed and replaced, creating a much nicer space for boaters, anglers and kayakers to launch.

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 DNREC 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 @DelawareDNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

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

###


DNREC to Break Ground on Killens Pond Elevated Walkway

Access to Boat Launch, Fishing to be Restricted During Construction

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will soon break ground on construction of an elevated walkway at Killens Pond State Park that will provide a safer trail connection along the pond’s eastern edge. The elevated pathway will also provide visitors more appealing views while walking along the pond and new fishing opportunities.

Currently, pedestrians and bicyclists attempting to navigate around the east end of pondside trail must use the narrow shoulder of Killens Pond Road. While pedestrians and bicyclists will still be able to complete the loop along the eastern portion via Killens Pond Road during construction, there may be temporary delays at times. Pedestrians and bicyclists should use caution in this area during construction.

The public boat ramp and its associated parking lot on the south side of the pond will be closed to all boat launching Thursday, Nov. 12 and Friday, Nov. 13 for equipment staging, and again from Monday, Nov. 23, through the duration of construction. As part of the project, the boat ramp parking lot will be repaved.

Fishing will not be permitted from the shoreline along Killens Pond Road during construction. Anglers can locate nearby DNREC-managed public fishing ponds online at https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/fish-wildlife/fishing-ponds. The site also has an interactive map, information for each pond and fishing community.

During construction, which is expected to finish in April 2021, visitors to the park may experience periods of very loud noise and vibrations from equipment.

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.


Killens Pond Water Park Closed Due to Staff Member With COVID-19 Positive Test

A staff member at the Killens Pond State Park water park has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, the water park will be closed until at least Friday, July 24, the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced Friday.

The staff member is asymptomatic but was tested based on close contact with someone outside the water park who had tested positive. The positive staff member received results Thursday and has begun a required quarantine. Following the advice of the state Division of Public Health after initial case investigation and contact tracing, 11 other water park staff members who were determined to have been in close contact are being tested and have also begun a 14-day quarantine from their last exposure to the positive staff member.

The Division of Public Health has advised DNREC that visitors to the water park are considered at low risk for contracting COVID-19 because they likely did not meet the threshold for close contact with the positive staff member, which is presence within 6 feet of an individual for 10 to 15 minutes or more. However, any water park visitors who wish to be tested as a precaution can utilize any of the free testing opportunities being offered by the state, which are found at https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/testing-events/.

The Killens water park opened for the season Saturday, July 11. The water park had been scheduled to be open this weekend, Monday and Tuesday, and was already scheduled to be closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays. DNREC will be notifying those who had already made water park reservations for the next several days directly, and had initially announced Friday’s closure on social media Thursday evening. Anyone who had purchased an advanced water park entrance ticket for the closed days will be given a full refund, no additional action is needed.

The water park will undergo full cleaning and sanitizing during the closure. DNREC will announce next week whether the water park will reopen on Friday, July 24 or remain closed.

The water park’s practices since opening have included daily temperature and symptoms checks for all staff, a limit of 30 percent visitor capacity, online-only reservations in two four-hour blocks each day, a 30-minute mid-day cleaning break, required use of masks in most areas, social distancing and frequent cleaning of common areas.

“We took many precautions in the interest of health and safety in operating the water park and we will take the safe route in closing it down for the next few days,” DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin said Friday. “We have been advised there was low risk to the public based on the operations and interactions, but everyone should always be on the watch for coronavirus symptoms, and we will be watching and testing for any sign of spread among staff before making a firm decision about reopening. We regret that the water park will not be available during the upcoming hot days, but the health of our visitors and staff must come first.”

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: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov; Shauna McVey, shauna.mcvey@delaware.gov

###


DNREC Announces Killens Pond State Park Water Park to Open Saturday

Safety Measures, Including Limited Capacity and Hours, in Effect Until Further Notice

 The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will reopen the Killens Pond State Park Water Park on Saturday, July 11, with measures in effect to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Water Park will limit its hours and offer two sessions per day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and will be closed Wednesdays and Thursdays. Visitor capacity at the water park will be reduced to 30%. Guests must reserve a session online prior to visiting the water park. Tickets will not be available for purchase at the park.

As part of our continued commitment to help our community in preventing the spread of COVID-19, the following protocols and procedures will also be in effect until further notice:

  • Masks or other cloth face coverings are required for entry into the water park, while in line, in concession areas and restrooms, and when social distancing of at least 6 feet between those of other households cannot be maintained.
  • Face coverings may be removed once on the pool deck, but must continue to be worn when social distancing is not possible.
  • Face coverings are not required while in the water. Any face coverings visitors choose to wear while in the water must be made of swimsuit-type material (man-made fibers). Standard face coverings made from cotton may make it difficult to breathe when wet.
  • Guests must continue to social distance when in the water.
  • Bathrooms and slide handrails will be sanitized every hour, and all other touch points will be sanitized between sessions.
  • All other COVID-19-related rules, regulations and recommendations from the Division of Public Health apply.
  • All other Water Park rules and regulations apply.

Water park entrance fees are $6 for those under 48 inches and $8 for those 48 inches and taller. Entry is free for children ages 2 and younger. The water park features attractions for all ages and abilities, including a main pool, baby pool, slides, fountains and a variety of other fun water features.

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.

###