DNREC’S Division of Parks & Recreation announces changes in lifeguard hours at state park ocean swimming beaches

DOVER – Hours and locations for lifeguarded ocean swimming beaches in DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation’s state parks will change beginning Aug. 20.

On Monday, Aug. 20, Delaware Seashore State Park’s Tower Road beach will be unguarded during the week, but will remain guarded on weekends including Labor Day.

Beginning Monday, Aug. 27 through Friday, Aug. 31, Fenwick Island State Park’s Fenwick Lot will be unguarded during the week but will remain guarded on the weekends including Labor Day.

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.

Lifeguard hours will not change, and will be 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.

Reductions in hours are necessary due to season-long staffing shortages, and 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.

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

Vol. 48, No. 220


Application deadline extended to June 15 for DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police’s 3rd Annual Youth Academies

DOVER – If you are a student aged 12 through 15 with an interest in natural resources and law enforcement, DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police is once again offering summer Youth Academies – with the deadline for applying extended to Friday, June 15.

The Youth Academy is a five-day program that teaches boating safety, hunter safety, and how to protect our natural resources while looking to nurture the relationship between Delaware’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police (NRP) officers and the community. Participants in the Youth Academy attend tuition-free.

This year, Fish & Wildlife NRP offers a Basic Youth Academy and two Advanced Youth Academy programs:

  • Natural Resources Police Basic Youth Academy (New Castle County) –
    Monday through Friday, June 25-29, Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center, 1205 River Road, New Castle, DE 19720
  • Natural Resources Police Advanced Youth Academy (Kent County) –
    Tuesday through Saturday, July 10-14, Little Creek Hunter Education Training Center, 3018 Bayside Drive, Dover, DE 19901
  • Natural Resources Police Advanced Youth Academy (New Castle County) –
    Tuesday through Saturday, July 17-21, Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center, 1205 River Road, New Castle, DE 19720

The Basic Youth Academy is limited to the first 20 qualified applicants, with priority given to those who have not already completed a hunter safety course or boating safety course before the academy begins. Applications must include a 250-word essay on why the applicant wants to take part in the Academy and what Delaware’s natural resources mean to him or her. Students who complete the program will receive both their hunter and boating safety certifications.

The Advanced Youth Academy programs are for those who wish to continue learning what it is like to be a Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Officer, as well as learning additional outdoor skills. The Advanced Youth Academy programs are open to youth ages 12 through 15 years old who have either completed the Basic Youth Academy or have already earned their hunter safety and boating safety certifications. An overnight camping excursion is included and parent/guardian participation is mandatory for this portion.

Each of the Advanced Youth Academy programs is limited to the first 15 qualified applicants, with priority given to those who have already completed the Basic Youth Academy. Applications must include a 500-word essay on either what they learned from the Basic Youth Academy or, if they did not attend, what the applicant learned when they took their hunter and boating safety courses.

Applications are available online at http://de.gov/fwenforcement, and at DNREC’s licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

Opportunities to support the Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Youth Academies are available. These programs prosper through the generous support and donations from community businesses, private organizations and individuals.

For more information regarding the Youth Academy, please call Captain Brian Pollock at 302-365-8703 or email brian.pollock@delaware.gov.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

Contact: Sgt. Brooke Africa, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-382-7167 or 302-739-9913, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902

Vol. 48, No. 134


DNREC-sponsored Becoming an Outdoors-Woman weekend program to be held Oct. 6-8 at Killens Pond State Park

Registration deadline Sept. 15 for state’s 19th BOW event 

DOVER – Registration has been extended until Friday, Sept. 15 for Delaware’s 2017 Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program, set for the weekend of Oct. 6-8 at Killens Pond State Park in Harrington. The 2017 event marks the 19th year that Delaware has hosted the program, sponsored by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife.

BOW offers a variety of 1.5-hour and 3.5-hour courses taught by volunteer instructors who share their expertise and provide instruction in a safe, supportive and non-competitive atmosphere. The cost of participating in the full BOW weekend is $130, which includes meals, lodging, instruction, and use of necessary equipment and supplies. The cost of participating in only Saturday’s BOW courses is $90, including meals, instruction, and use of necessary equipment and supplies.

Participants can choose from a wide range of hands-on courses during each of the sessions. Included are Orienteering 101, Campfire Cooking, Camping 101, Tree I.D., Intro to Canoeing, Daypacking/Hiking, Invasive and Nuisance Plants in Delaware, Cooking Your Catch – How to Process Your Fish, Intro to Shotgun, Intro to Target Archery, Birding 101, Intro to Fly Fishing, Beginning Freshwater Fishing, Prehistoric Storytellers (a course on Delaware’s horseshoe crabs), Native Landscaping for Pollinators, Boating Safety, Waterfowl I.D., Edible and Medicinal Plants, and Wonders of Wetlands.

A specialty course this year at BOW is a mentored crossbow deer hunt. The course involves learning how to safely use a crossbow, participation in a hunter safety course, and taking part in a mentored deer hunt at Killens Pond State Park. Participants in the hunt are required to have a Delaware hunting license and hunter education certification. Each hunter will be partnered with a mentor who will guide them during the managed hunt.

BOW registrations must be received by Friday, Sept. 15, with registration packets available online at de.gov/bow. Please send completed registration forms with payment to: Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife – BOW, 2992 Lighthouse Road, Milford, DE 19963. For more information, contact Lynne Pusey at 302-422-1329 or email: lynne.pusey@delaware.gov.

Scholarships are also available for the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman event through the Delaware Friends of BOW. To apply for a scholarship, candidates should complete the BOW Scholarship Application form. The deadline for applying is Sept. 15. Once completed, scholarship application forms should be sent to Delaware Friends of BOW, 410 Cornish Road, Harrington, DE 19952.

While BOW is aimed primarily at women, it offers an opportunity for anyone 18 or older to learn skills that allow them to participate in numerous outdoor activities. Since the first BOW was held in Wisconsin in 1991, this exciting international program has expanded to 46 states and seven provinces with more than 80 workshops offered each year. The main goal of the BOW program is to provide women the opportunity to learn skills that encourage and enhance participation in outdoor activities, such as hunting, shooting, fishing, boating, and other activities.

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


DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation launches ‘Poké Park Adventure’ contest in Delaware State Parks

DOVER – Riding the wave of the popularity of the summer’s hottest craze, DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation today launched “Poké Park Adventure,” a contest for kids of all ages, in Delaware State Parks.

The “Poké Park Adventure” uses the free smartphone game (or app), “Pokémon Go,” in which players try to capture different monsters from Pokémon, a Japanese cartoon, using a combination of GPS and other technologies built into smartphones, including location tracking and cameras, encouraging players to visit – in this case, Delaware State Parks, in order to nab virtual loot and collectible characters. The point of the game is to “catch ‘em all!”

“This new contest is a great way to get kids, families, and all adventure-seeking Delawareans outside and into nature – a major goal of our Children in Nature Initiative,” said Governor Jack Markell. “I want to thank Delaware State Parks for taking advantage of the extraordinary popularity of this new technology to help encourage physical activity and showcase our amazing State Parks.”

“We are so pleased to offer this new and fun way for kids and families to get out into nature in our state parks,” said Delaware State Parks Director Ray Bivens. “The contest is being run from today through the end of July to give people a chance to visit all of the parks if they can.”

To win the “Poké Park Adventure,” players must take a screenshot of a view of their avatar in a park, and then take screenshots of each Poké Stop they visit. The screenshot must show that the player is in range of a Poké Stop. Then, players tag that park on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, using the hashtag #pokeparkde.

Whoever visits the most Poké Stops within any state parks (and park attractions) will receive a “legendary” prize pack complete with Pokémon merchandise, a 2017 Annual Park Pass, a YETI rambler bottle and other prizes.

The contest is open now through July 31 to give everyone a chance to travel across the land, searching far and wide. The winner will be announced Wednesday, Aug. 3.

To find out more about “Poké Park Adventure,” including rules, visit www.destateparks.com/pokepark

(Pokémon and Pokémon Go are trademarked by The Pokémon Company. Delaware State Parks is not affiliated with Pokémon in any way.)

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

Vol. 46, No. 261

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DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation holds second annual Delaware Capital Campout at three state parks

Dramatic increase in number of participants from first event held year ago

WILMINGTON – Governor Jack Markell, DNREC Secretary David Small and Deputy Secretary Kara Coats, and Delaware State Parks Director Ray Bivens welcomed more than 100 first-time campers to the second annual Delaware Capital Campout being held simultaneously at Bellevue State Park, Killens Pond State Park and Cape Henlopen State Park. The two-day, free-of-charge campout introduces young people and their families to the benefits and fun of being outside.

“This two-day campout offers new ways to enjoy Delaware’s great outdoors,” Gov. Markell said. “Our goal is to encourage appreciation of the environment and get families into nature. During this campout, children and their families can learn how to fish, set up a tent, and observe wildlife – just some of the benefits and fun for visitors to the state parks that are rated the best in the nation.”

Over two days, young people and their families will participate in all kinds of activities from learning how to set up a tent and build a campfire, to hiking, fishing and canoeing. Three state parks are serving as “host partners” for the event, which is sponsored by Coleman and the Boys and Girls Club of Delaware. Walmart and Chick-fil-A are contributing food to the events.

“The Capital Campout has been a huge success,” said DNREC Secretary Small. “The number of new campers has increased dramatically, from 27 participants last year to 108 this year, so we were delighted to expand the program from one park to three. This is a great way for children and families to explore outdoor recreation opportunities, to have fun and learn about nature. Enjoying our parks, trails and other amenities can help people stay active and healthy and create an appreciation for special outdoor places to help new generations be wise stewards of our natural resources.”

The Delaware Capital Campout is part of a national effort to get young people and their families, who may not usually experience the outdoors, outside and enjoying the activities parks have to offer. The campouts are part of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout.

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

Vol. 46, No. 230