DNREC to reopen The Point at Cape Henlopen Sept. 1

LEWES, Del. – The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control will reopen The Point at Cape Henlopen State Park, including a stretch of ocean beach and dunes, and a half-mile along the bay shoreline, Tuesday, Sept. 1. The bayside beach will remain closed until Oct. 1 for use by shorebirds migrating south for the winter. 

The area to reopen includes a stretch of ocean beach and dunes that was previously closed on March 1 to benefit more than 30 species of shorebirds, including up to 11 species of terns, six species of gulls, the brown pelican and the double-crested cormorant as well as threatened and endangered species such as red knots, piping plovers, least terns, oystercatchers and others.

DNREC’s Divisions of Parks and Recreation, Fish and Wildlife, and Watershed Stewardship have worked together since 1990 to implement a management plan to halt the decline of beachnester and migratory shorebird populations. The Point has been closed annually since 1993.

For more information, contact Cape Henlopen State Park at 302-645-8983 or stop by the Park Office.

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

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DNREC invites public to Brandywine Creek State Park Trail Plan open house on July 23

WILMINGTON – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation will host a public open house from 5 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 23, to review the Brandywine Creek Trail Plan, at the Brandywine Creek State Park Nature Center, 41 Adams Dam Road, Wilmington, DE 19807.

A series of maps will be on display, showing existing and planned trail alignments covering a range of environmental aspects related to existing trails as well as the planned trail system. Also on display will be information related to the Creek Road maintenance concerns. The public is invited to attend to share their thoughts and comments, and ask questions.

For more information on the Brandywine Creek State Park Trail Plan, contact David Bartoo, Division of Parks & Recreation, at 302-739-9235. The trail plan, maps and an online comment form are located at Brandywine Creek Trail Plan. The deadline to submit comments is Saturday, Aug. 31.

Media Contact: Jayme Gravell, Community Relations Coordinator, Delaware State Parks, 302-739-9112


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


New Delaware State Parks annual passes go on sale Nov. 25

New annual parks pass adheres on the outside of a vehicle.
New annual parks pass adheres on the outside of a vehicle.

DOVER – Give a gift that lasts all year long – an annual Delaware State Parks pass good for admission year-round to all state parks. The new passes, as well as surf permits, will go on sale online beginning Friday, Nov. 25, and at authorized stores and park offices beginning Monday, Nov. 28.

DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation has more good news for visitors: the placement of the annual pass has changed this year. It adheres to the outside of a vehicle’s windshield, rather than the inside.

“Many of our customers were having difficulty removing the sticker, and with tinted windshields, the Division felt it was time to put the sticker on the outside,” said Mary Voshell, chief of the Division’s Office of Business Services. “On the outside, the pass will be much easier to adhere to – and remove from – the windshield.” The pass will also be much more visible, Voshell added. “Staff and park rangers can now more easily see the pass in order to waive customers through the entrance stations and to check for violations.”

The new annual passes are $35 for residents and $18 for residents age 62 and older. These, along with surf tags and military passes will be available online Nov. 25 at www.destateparks.com/fees/passes. On Nov. 28, the public can purchase them from state park offices, DNREC’s Dover licensing desk in the Richardson & Robbins Building at 89 Kings Highway, or from authorized agents including: Eastern Marine in Newark, Carlisle Marine in Smyrna, Sam’s Fishing and Tackle in Greenwood, That Place in Millsboro, and Dover Air Force Base and the Rehoboth Beach/ Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.

Delaware State Parks annual park passes and surf permits make great holiday gifts for the entire family, providing a full year of outdoor adventure, in one of Delaware’s 14 state parks. Whether it’s to hike or bike one of the many trails, walk the sandy beaches, participate in a nature program or attend an evening concert, the annual pass is a gift filled with year round activities.

“For just $35, Delaware residents can enjoy unlimited park visits for families and friends to enjoy the outdoors,” said Ray Bivens, Delaware State Parks director. “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support our efforts to preserve and protect open space, improve services and expand recreational opportunities. It is truly the support of Delawareans and visitors to our state that has been the cornerstone of our wonderfully diverse parks system.”

Delaware’s state parks are primarily self-funded; 65 percent of state park revenue used to operate and maintain the parks is generated by park users. Annual passes not only are important to sustain state parks, they are a convenient way to access the parks for the entire fee season.

Delaware State Parks won the highest honor a state parks system can receive: the 2016 National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management. This prestigious award recognizes state parks systems throughout the nation that best address the needs of those they serve. Delaware State Parks was the only small state to ever be voted “America’s Best.”

Vol. 46, No. 402

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Officials Mark Kickoff of Second Phase of Yorklyn Revitalization Project

YORKLYN – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation kicked off the second phase of a project designed to revitalize the town of Yorklyn in the northwest corner of the state into a vibrant, lively and scenic centerpiece while still retaining its mill town roots.

Plans are moving forward after a public-private partnership was established to map out the future of the town. Today, Governor Jack Markell, DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara and numerous other officials were on hand as DNREC hosted a groundbreaking event to mark the end of Phase 1 and the beginning of Phase 2 of the project, the Auburn Valley Master Plan. The project is expected to boost economic development and ecological restoration in the scenic area, and add to state parkland at the Auburn Heights Preserve located in the Red Clay Valley near the Pennsylvania state line.

“What you see here is the beginning of a new era in Yorklyn. It also represents the best example of how the state can work with private and public partners to build something truly special that benefits everyone in the community,” said Governor Jack Markell. “This project will be unique in its aesthetics and make Yorklyn a shining historic treasure for Delaware tourism.”

At the event, officials acknowledged completion of the $1.6-million, FEMA-funded demolition of the corporate headquarters of the former NVF manufacturing plant and zinc treatment facility, and began the demolition project for the main plant – making way for the unique redevelopment site that will include historic buildings, wetlands, flood mitigation areas and multi-use trails.

“This is one of the most complex public-private projects in the nation that transforms a shuttered site into a model of preservation, and redevelopment that will bring economic opportunity and prosperity to the area,” said DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara. “The site is undergoing an environmental cleanup of nearly a century of historic contamination, as well as a stream restoration project that will not only improve water quality and protect fish in the Red Clay Creek, but will also reduce the severe flooding that has resulted in significant economic impacts to Yorklyn. With the beautiful, historic setting of Yorklyn as a backdrop, we believe the synergy created by the master plan – which includes a trail, an antique car loop, and steam railroad – will make this a uniquely Delaware destination.”

The goal of the public-private partnership is to reclaim the former mill town by cleaning up contaminated areas, restoring floodplains and expanding on tourism-drawing development. Not only does the plan call for shopping and restaurant development, but also a trail system that will connect the new commercial sites with historic and natural areas, in addition to connecting to existing attractions like the Marshall Steam Museum and the Delaware Nature Society.

The partnership is made up of private developers, neighboring organizations, and several divisions of DNREC, including the Division of Parks and Recreation, the Division of Waste and Hazardous Substances’ Site Investigation and Restoration Section, and the Division of Water. Partners outside DNREC include the Delaware Economic Development Office, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the court-appointed trustee for NVF, and Auburn Village LLC. The project was further bolstered by strong support from neighboring property owners, as well as conservation and recreational organizations in the Yorklyn area.

The Auburn Heights Preserve, part of the Delaware State Parks system, is home to the historic Marshall estate, which is managed through a partnership between Delaware State Parks and the Friends of Auburn Heights Preserve. The Friends group owns a world-class collection of operating vintage steam cars, including 14 Stanley Steamers and the miniature Auburn Valley Railroad.

The NVF Company produced vulcanized fiber and related products in Yorklyn until declaring bankruptcy in April 2009.