DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation grows White Clay Creek State Park with new superintendent, acreage

NEWARK – The Delaware Department of Natural Resources (DNREC) is pleased to announce Laura Lee as the new superintendent of White Clay Creek State Park (WCCSP). Laura was previously superintendent of Auburn Valley State Park, which she helped develop since it was dedicated as the newest state park in 2018.

Laura started her State Parks career in 1991 at Fort Delaware, where she worked as both a seasonal interpreter and a cultural resources assistant. She then served as director of the Iron Hill Museum from 1995 to 2008, before returning to the DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation as the interpretive program manager at Fort Delaware and then moving on to Auburn Valley State Park.

Also, DNREC recently added 32 acres to WCCSP along the Route 896 side of the park; the acreage is comprised of mature forest, meadow and agricultural lands near the Krantz Hill Farm and will protect important wildlife habitats. The newly acquired land was funded with approximately $2.6 million from the Delaware Open Space Program (OSP) making it the largest land acquisition for the state park since 2003.

The Delaware Open Space Council recommended this land for acquisition in its June 2019 meeting. Since 1988, the OSP has provided nearly $62 million to add 2,210.7 acres to WCCSP through open space preservation.


DNREC reopens wooded areas of Alapocas Run State Park without further sighting of black bear seen earlier in park

WILMINGTON – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation has re-opened Alapocas Run State Park in Wilmington, which was closed Dec. 5 due to the sighting of a black bear in the park that has been reportedly moving around northern New Castle County this week.DNREC Logo

After the park’s temporary closure, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, with the assistance of Delaware State Police’s aviation unit, conducted aerial searches of the Alapocas Run State Park and surrounding areas using infrared radar technology but did not detect the bear. Fish & Wildlife and State Parks Natural Resources Police officers also placed trail cameras overnight and conducted extensive patrols by foot throughout the park without further sightings.

DNREC Natural Resources Police advise that visitors to Alapocas Run State Park should still keep an eye out for the bear and if it is seen, should call Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police’ 24-hour dispatch line at 800-523-3336.

Should you see a black bear, the Division of Fish & Wildlife advises taking the following precautions:

  • If a bear is seen:
    • Do not approach, attempt to touch, feed, or shoot at the bear. Back away slowly – give it space. Go inside and wait for the bear to leave. Once inside, please contact Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police at 800-523-3336 to report the sighting.
    • Keep in mind, most bears fear people and will retreat when they see you.
  • Eliminate potential food sources that could attract the bear by cleaning or removing anything outdoors that may smell like food. This includes:
    • Locking garbage in a secure trash container, or keeping it inside until the day of pick-up.
    • Rinsing trash containers with ammonia to eliminate food odors.
    • Temporarily discontinuing the use of backyard compost piles.
    • Storing cooking grills inside or keeping them clean of food residue.
    • Temporarily removing birdfeeders ─ there are many wild food sources for birds during this time of year.
  • If you have animals, particularly dogs or cats:
    • Keep their food indoors. If animals are fed outdoors, only feed the animal what it will eat in one sitting to ensure that there is no food remaining.
    • Corral livestock close to buildings and use outdoor lighting at night.
    • If you have electric fencing, make sure it’s turned on to protect chicken coops, livestock nursery pens, etc.
    • Promptly dispose of dead farm animals.

Black bear populations within neighboring states of Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have expanded over the past several decades. As a result, it is not unusual for a bear find its way into Delaware.

Media contact: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


Howell School Road near DNREC’s Lums Pond State Park Dog Park Area under construction October 21 – November 8

BEAR – DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation announced today the closure of Howell School Road for paving, between Robert Peoples Boulevard and Red Lion Road, Bear, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, Oct. 21 through Nov. 8.

For the convenience of Lums Pond State Park visitors who use the dog park lot on Buck Jersey Road at the East end of Howell School Road, there will be a temporary parking area set up at the primitive campground access road off of Red Lion Road (Route 71). The dog park lot will also remain open but may be difficult to access during construction.

The public will have access to the main entrance to Lums Pond State Park from Route 896 and Howell School Road during construction. For more information about Lums Pond State Park visit destateparks.com/lums or call 302-368-6989.

Media Contact: Greg Abbott, DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation, 302-739-9220

DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation sponsors Yorklyn Storytelling Festival, archaeology events

Events of the weekend of October 18 to 20 celebrate Delaware history and literacy

Yorklyn — Yorklyn Village Partnerships, in conjunction with DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation, will celebrate storytelling, archaeology, and Delaware history with two special events the weekend of October 18 to 20.

The first edition of the Yorklyn Storytelling Festival features a lineup of nine nationally-known engaging storytellers in the spoken-word equivalent of a major music or arts festival. The event runs Friday through Sunday, Oct. 18-20, at the Center for the Creative Arts, 410 Upper Snuff Mill Row & Rt. 82, Yorklyn, Del. Special guests include award-winning performers Kim Weitkamp, Andy Offutt Irwin, and Delaware Division of the Arts’ Established Professional Fellow TAHIRA. This one-of-a-kind event is family-friendly and includes storytelling workshops, seven performances for kids, and an open- microphone contest. Special presenters are also performing at local schools on Friday, Oct. 18.

This event is sponsored by Yorklyn Storytelling Festival Inc., a non-profit organization focusing on literacy, as well as DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation’s Auburn Valley State Park, the Center for Creative Arts, and Delaware Humanities. Ticket prices range from $10 up and are available as day or weekend passes, with student and family discounts in place.

For more information or to order tickets go to www.yorklynstoryfest.com or call 302-238-6200.

Also, on Saturday, Oct. 19, Auburn Valley State Park will celebrate International Archaeology Day with special programs, speakers, and opportunities for families to discover archaeology in their community. Kid-friendly programs include a hands-on artifact analysis “Artifact Detectives” program; a “Make a Clay Pot” program, and a chance to meet real archaeologists talking about their work. At 4 p.m., Delaware Humanities archaeologist Cara Blume will present “A History of the Indian People of Delaware 1630-2008.” All archaeology programs at the park are free; for a schedule of events, please go to www.destateparks.com/history/AuburnValley.

Visitors to Yorklyn Village can walk from the park to the storytelling festival and back on Delaware State Parks’ trails, and various parking options are available. For more information on all these programs, please call Auburn Valley State Park at 302-239-5687 or 302-729-4280.

Registration still open for DNREC’s Indian River Marina ‘Kids Catch-All’ fishing tournament June 21-23

REHOBOTH BEACH – The Indian River Marina, owned and operated by DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation, is still accepting registrations for the 5th annual “Kids Catch-All” fishing tournament Friday, June 21 – Sunday, June 23 at the marina. Children and teenagers aged 3-18 are invited to participate in the event, during which every young angler will receive a prize.

During the tournament, anglers may fish from the jetties, off the beach by boat and head boat. Ocean and bay fishing is permitted. Adults are allowed to assist the young anglers.

Registration is $25 per child or $150 per boat with up to six participants. The fee includes a free event t-shirt and all-you-can-eat dinners on Saturday and Sunday evenings for kids entered in the tournament. Other family members can also attend the dinners for a $10 fee.

Onsite registration will be open Friday evening, June 21 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturday morning, June 22 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Online registration is available now via www.kidscatchall.com. All children must be registered either online by 8 p.m. Friday or in-person by 8 a.m. Saturday to participate. All registrants need to visit the tournament booth to pick up a copy of the tournament rules before fishing.

Custom trophies in 15 different categories will be awarded to the winners at the awards banquet held Sunday evening. Each registrant will also receive a special gift from Hook’em and Cook’em Outfitters. Door prizes will be awarded each night during dinner.

Weigh-in is from 3-6:30 p.m. Saturday, and 3-6 p.m. Sunday. The marina’s weighmaster is expected to make the process fun for the whole family. A leader board will be maintained, and pictures of the kids and their catches will be taken by the Coastal Fisherman, an Ocean City, Md.-based newspaper.

A portion of the proceeds benefits the Lyme Disease Association of Delmarva, Inc. More information about the fishing tournament or how to become a sponsor is available by calling Lyme Disease Association of Delmarva at 410-749-LYME or 410-726-4573.

More information about the contest is available from the Indian River Marina at 302-227-3071.

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