Nature, Science, and Fun Featured in Outdoor Delaware Magazine – Now Online

The new Outdoor Delaware online magazine, launched today, is the go-to guide to enjoy and learn about animals, nature, science, adventure, conservation and many other topics. It is produced by the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.

Outdoor Delaware provides engaging articles, photos and videos for visitors to discover places to go, what can be seen and done there, and the countless ways to experience the beauty and wonder of the outside environment in Delaware.

“Outdoor Delaware is where nature comes alive,” said DNREC Secretary Shawn Garvin. “We are excited to offer this new way to enjoy our award-winning conservation magazine. More visitors to the site will be informed about Delaware’s natural resources and the many ways we work to protect them.”

In the inaugural issue, visitors will learn what a radiated tortoise is, why artificial reefs and electric vehicles are important, and how to play disc golf – accompanied by beautiful photographs and peppered with videos. The first issue also features articles on jellyfish to watch out for, kestrel banding, where recycling ends up, words of wisdom from a longtime hunter and much more.

Like the print version before it, Outdoor Delaware offers articles and photos, now available without a subscription. Visitors to the Outdoor Delaware site will also find articles posted on a frequent basis, not just four times per year.

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. For more information, visit the website and connect with DNREC on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.

Media Contacts: Nikki Lavoie, nikki.lavoie@delaware.gov or Beth Shockley, elizabeth.shockley@delaware.gov.

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DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation hosts First Day Hikes across Delaware

New Year’s Day is a great time to kick the 2020s off on the right foot with one of 18 First Day Hikes hosted by DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation. First Day Hikes is a national movement sponsored by America’s State Parks to encourage the celebration of fitness in the nation’s great outdoors.

There’s no need to register for any of the hikes listed below; just show up prepared to walk! Items hikers may want to bring along include comfortable hiking/walking shoes, a camera, a bottle of water, appropriate layers for the weather, a hat, sunglasses, a backpack, and snacks. Some hikes may require water-resistant shoes, or have age or pet restrictions. Not all hikes are suitable for strollers.

Check out one of the following hikes to celebrate the New Year at a Delaware State Park.

• 10 a.m. – Alapocas Run State Park, Wilmington – 2 to 3 miles – Easy/Moderate
Meet at Blue Ball Barn. Leashed, well-behaved dogs welcome.

• 10 a.m. – Fort Dupont State Park, Delaware City – 1.1 miles – Easy
Meet at the parking lot closest to the river, at the end of Wilmington Avenue/Old Battery Lane.

• 10 a.m. – Trap Pond State Park, Laurel – 2 miles – Easy
Meet at Baldcypress Nature Center.

• 11 a.m. – Cape Henlopen State Park, Lewes – 1.5 miles – Moderate
Park in the Point Comfort Station Parking lot and walk north to the Point parking lot. Minimum age: 7 years old with an adult.

• 12:30 p.m. – Brandywine Zoo, Wilmington – 1/4 mile – Easy
Meet at the gift shop.

• 12:30 p.m. – Fort Miles Museum and Historical Area, Lewes – 1.7 miles – Easy
Meet at Fort Miles Parking Lot. Minimum age: 7 years old with an adult

• 1 p.m. – Bellevue State Park, Wilmington – 1.5 to 3 miles – Easy
Meet at Bellevue Arts Center. This hike is for all ages and is stroller friendly.

• 1 p.m. – First State Heritage Park, Dover – 1/4 mile – Easy
Meet at the John Bell House.

• 1 p.m. – Holts Landing State Park, Bethany Beach – 1.7 miles – Easy
Meet at Holts Landing Picnic Pavilion.

• 1 p.m. – Killens Pond State Park, Felton – 1 to 3 miles – Varying Difficulty
Meet at the Nature Center.

• 1 p.m. – Lums Pond State Park, Bear– 2.5 miles – Easy/Moderate
Meet at Area 1 Pavilion/. Pets are permitted but must be on a 6-foot leash.

• 1 p.m. – Auburn Valley State Park, Yorklyn – 1.1 miles – Moderate
Meet at 1516 Snuff Mill Road Trail lot.

• 1 p.m. – Brandywine Creek State Park, Wilmington – 2-2.5 miles – Moderate
Meet at the Nature Center.

1 p.m. – White Clay Creek State Park, Newark – 1 to 2.5 miles – Multiple Difficulties
• 1.3 miles – Moderate – Millstone Pond Trail. Meet at Carpenter Recreation Area.
• 2 miles – Moderate/Difficult – Arc Corner Monument Loop. Meet at Nature Center.
• 2 miles – Moderate – PennDel/Pomeroy Trail. Meet at Nature Center
• 2.5 miles – Moderate/Difficult – Twin Valley Trail. Meet at Carpenter Recreation Area.

• 3:30 p.m. – Auburn Valley State Park – Easy – 1 mile
Meet at the Paper Mill Parking Lot on Benge Road.

For more information about the Delaware State Parks First Day Hikes and to see maps of the park trails beforehand, go to https://destateparks.com/firstday or call 302-739-9220.


Governor Carney, DNREC cut ribbon on new wildlife-viewing tower at Little Creek Wildlife Area

(Cutting the ribbon for the Little Creek Wildlife Area boardwalk trail and wildlife-viewing tower east of Dover are, left to right: Governor John Carney, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis, Delaware Bayshore Initiative Coordinator Anthony Gonzon, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin, past DNREC Secretary David Small, Representative Bill Carson, Little Creek Mayor Glenn Gauvry, Federal Highway Administration Delaware Division Administrator Doug Atkin, and DelDOT Byways Program Manager Mike Hahn. DNREC photo by Joanna Wilson.)

Division of Fish & Wildlife-managed facility offers Bayshore views for visitors of all abilities

DOVER – Delaware Governor John Carney and DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin were joined today by State Representative Bill Carson, Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis, Little Creek Mayor Glenn Gauvry, Federal Highway Administration Delaware Division Administrator Doug Atkin, and DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife and DelDOT staff to cut the ribbon officially opening the newly-completed Little Creek wildlife-viewing tower and accompanying boardwalk on the Little Creek Wildlife Area east of Dover.

The two-level observation tower’s boardwalk trail, lower level deck, and parking are fully-accessible for visitors with disabilities. The tower includes a unique railing design and expanded toe box on the lower level to allow disabled visitors to move closer to the rails for a better view.

A popular location with local bird watchers for decades, the new Little Creek Wildlife Area facility replaces an outdated tower that was not accessible to visitors with physical limitations and disabilities. Seasonally, visitors can view a variety waterfowl, wading birds, shorebirds, raptors, and songbirds from the tower and along the boardwalk. Travelers along the Route 9 corridor, part of Delaware’s Bayshore Byway, can stop at this new destination to take in the beauty of Delaware’s Bayshore. Interpretive signs provide visitors with information about the wildlife, habitat, and management of the Little Creek Wildlife Area.

“Delaware’s Bayshore, and the Delaware Bayshore Byway that brings visitors here, are among our state’s treasures, from its woods, waters, and wetlands, to its historic small towns nestled along our eastern coastline,” said Governor Carney. “The accessible features of this specially-designed tower, boardwalk, and parking make it convenient for all visitors – including those with disabilities – to see and enjoy this part of our beautiful Bayshore.”

“The new Little Creek wildlife-viewing tower provides a sweeping view of the Delaware Bay and some of its many marshes to attract birders as well as visitors simply enjoying a beautiful day on the Bayshore,” said Secretary Garvin. “This new facility also demonstrates DNREC’s commitment to providing exceptional outdoor recreational experiences for visitors of all abilities.”

Funding for the $1.06 million project comes from Delaware Bayshore Initiative Bond Bill funds, Trails and Pathways Bond Bill funds, and Federal Highway Administration Scenic Byway Grant funds for the Delaware Bayshore Byway. The project supports the Delaware Bayshore Initiative by enhancing outdoor recreation access and supporting local communities like nearby Little Creek.

Managed by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife, the Little Creek Wildlife Area provides opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, boating, and other similar outdoor recreation activities. The Division of Fish & Wildlife manages 19 wildlife areas totaling more than 60,000 acres statewide, including dozens of public-use facilities.

DNREC’s Conservation Access Pass (CAP) requirement for registered motor vehicles used to access wildlife areas is waived on the Little Creek Wildlife Area from Friday, Nov. 8 through Monday, Nov. 11. CAP revenues generated throughout the year are used by the Division of Fish & Wildlife to maintain wildlife-viewing structures and for habitat management on wildlife areas.

The Little Creek Wildlife Area is part of Delaware’s Bayshore Region, the area that stretches from New Castle to Lewes along the Delaware River and Bay coastline. The Delaware Bayshore Initiative enhances and promotes the region as a world-class conservation and low-impact recreation area, strengthens local communities, and improves the quality of life for all Delawareans. The initiative received recognition from the U.S. Department of the Interior, as one of the country’s most promising ways to reconnect America to the natural world.

Formally launched in 2015, the Delaware Bayshore Byway follows Route 9 starting in historic New Castle and ending in the City of Lewes, meandering along Delaware’s river and bay shoreline through coastal marshes and forests, fields and farms, quiet coastal communities, and recreational and historic sites. The Scenic Byway Grant, administered to DNREC by DelDOT through the Federal Highway Administration, provides funds to enhance wildlife viewing opportunities along the Bayshore Byway.

For more information on the Little Creek Wildlife Area, please contact the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Wildlife Section at 302-739-9912.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

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


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces 2018/19 hunting photo contest winners

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife today announced the winning entries in the 2018/19 Delaware Hunting Photo Contest. First place was awarded to Harry Hoch, Jr. of Greenwood for his submission of “Hunting Memories,” featuring his father Dr. Harry L. Hoch and friend Bill Cole, after a successful hunt near Harrington.

The second place winner was “Three Generations,” taken by Jennifer Ross of Clayton and featuring her husband David, son Huntly, and father-in-law Charlie Ross, near Clayton.

Entries receiving honorable mention were:

  • “My Pride and Joy,” by Paul Skibicki of St. Georges, featuring his daughter Kimberly Pokoiski, at the Midlands Wildlife Area near Millsboro.
  • “Continuing the Tradition,” by James Swatski of Milton, featuring his son Jimmy Swatski, near Prime Hook Beach.
  • “Thanks Dad,” by Jennifer Ross of Clayton, featuring her husband David and son Huntly, near Clayton.

The winning photo will appear on the cover and all winning entries will be shown inside the 2019/2020 Delaware Hunting & Trapping guide.

Three judges – Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis, and local photographers and DNREC staff Justyn Foth and Rebecca Hoover – reviewed the entries and narrowed them to the top five. Photographs were judged relative to the contest theme of “Our Hunting Tradition” and for composition and technical criteria.

For more information about Division of Fish & Wildlife photo contests, please visit www.de.gov/fwphotos or contact Jennifer Childears at 302-739-9910 or by email at jennifer.childears@delaware.gov.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

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

Vol. 49, No. 172


DNREC invites public to vote online by June 24 for finalists in annual ‘Delaware Watersheds Photo Contest’

Earl Blansfield took this photo for the 2018 Delaware Watersheds Photo Contest of a black swallowtail butterfly visiting a thistle plant at Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Watershed Stewardship invites the public to vote on the finalists in this year’s Delaware Watersheds Photo Contest by visiting de.gov/nps. The contest aims to share the beauty of Delaware’s diverse environment while acting as a vivid reminder that everything that happens on land within the state’s watersheds also directly affects what happens in our waterways.

A watershed is all of the land that water moves across or under while flowing to a specific body of water. The contest was open to all photographers and images from any of Delaware’s watersheds were accepted. Judges were looking for striking photographic images of Delaware’s landscapes, waterscapes, native wildlife, and agricultural practices.

Votes for contest finalists must be submitted by Monday, June 24. Contest judges from within DNREC chose the entries that have advanced to the next stage of the contest – online public voting, which will determine the finalists and winners in each of four categories below:

Natural Landscapes of Delaware – Photographs of the scenic visible features of Delaware’s countryside or land.

Waterscapes of Delaware – Photographs of any waterbodies such as streams, rivers, lakes, creeks, estuaries, bay, ocean, etc.

Native Wildlife of Delaware – Native mammals, birds, fish, insects, reptiles, and amphibians of Delaware. Photographs of domesticated animals were not eligible in this category.

Agriculture in Delaware – Photographs of the practice of farming, including but not limited to the cultivation of soil for growing crops and rearing animals for food, wool, and other products.

Photos by contest winners will be on display at the 2019 Delaware State Fair and voted on by fairgoers to determine the overall “Best in Show” photo. The first place winners of each of four contest categories will receive a Delaware State Park pass for 2020 and their work will appear in Outdoor Delaware magazine. The first, second, and third place winners of each category will be recognized during the annual DNREC Awards ceremony on Governor’s Day at the Delaware State Fair, and the “Best in Show” will be featured in Outdoor Delaware magazine.

For more information, please contact Phil Miller at Photo Contest or 302-290-3578.

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

Vol. 49, No. 163