Melanie Rapp, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Sec. Collin O’Mara will join with volunteers to
keep playgrounds safe in Wilmington State Parks
Community volunteers to participate
in Governor’s Annual Week of Service event
WILMINGTON (April 10, 2014) – As part of the Governor’s Annual Week of Service, DNREC Sec. Collin O’Mara will join with more than 200 volunteers on Saturday, April 12, from 9 a.m. to noon, to improve the safety of two playgrounds in Wilmington State Parks. The volunteers will spread and grade nearly four tractor trailer loads of environmentally-friendly playground mulch that will provide safe outdoor recreation areas at two of the state’s most heavily used playgrounds – Warner Elementary School and Shortlidge Elementary School, both located in the Park on 18th Street in Wilmington.
“Few experiences are more rewarding than volunteering to clean up our environment,” said Secretary O’Mara. “The Governor’s Annual Week of Service is encouraging volunteerism, not just for a day but a lifetime of service to Delaware. Last year more than 5,000 citizens of all ages volunteered at a Delaware State Park – contributing more than 130,000 hours of service, making a tremendous difference in the safety, beauty and quality of our parks.”
Volunteers will include nearly 150 office personnel and their families from the Philadelphia 76ers and 87ers basketball teams – volunteering as part of the organization’s SEVENS STRONG community outreach program. “There is nothing more important in our jobs than being a part of the fabric of this community,” said 87ers team President, Aaron Moszer. “Under SEVENS STRONG, each Sevens employee has pledged 87 hours of community service throughout the year. Our commitment to the community continues this Saturday with the Delaware Week of Service project.”
More than 100 volunteers from local community organizations will be working on the project, including: the Friends of Wilmington State Parks; the Browns Boys & Girls Club; community policing; Project Chance Club from Warner Elementary School; the Brandywine Village Civic Association; the 2nd District Neighborhood Council; AmeriCorps Public Allies Delaware /University of Delaware; the various food vendors; the State Office of Volunteerism; and Lowes of Middletown.
This service event is a partnership among Delaware State Parks, the 87ers basketball organization and the Brandywine Village Association.
Wilmington State Parks are Delaware’s premier urban parks with more than 400 acres of parkland in the city offering trails, and pathways for walking, biking, hiking and active living. The parks include playgrounds, ball fields and picnic areas – the perfect urban oasis for connecting to nature and enjoying the outdoors.
Wilmington State Parks comprise five lush parks along the Brandywine Creek- each with its own rich history, beauty and unique character. Brandywine Park is a great pace to stroll, jog and have a picnic lunch, visit the Brandywine Zoo or enjoy a football game or track meet at Baynard Stadium. The other parks that are part of Wilmington State Parks include: Rockford Park, Alapocas Run Park, H. Fletcher Brown Park, and Brandywine Zoo.
Wilmington State Parks was built on the strength of community partnerships – including the Friends of Wilmington Parks, the Delaware Zoological Society, the Delaware Center for Horticulture, Delaware Greenways, Delaware Rotaries and community associations, including Old Brandywine Village.
For more information on Delaware State Parks, visit www.destateparks.com.
The Park mulching project is being organized by the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Delaware State Parks volunteer services, in partnership with the 87ers and Philadelphia 76ers (basketball teams), Wilmington Head Start, Warner Elementary School and Wilmington State Parks.
This project supports Delaware’s Children in Nature Initiative, a statewide effort to improve environmental literacy in Delaware, create opportunities for children to participate in enriching outdoor experiences, combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles. Delaware’s multi-agency initiative, which partners state and federal agencies with community organizations, is part of the national No Child Left Inside program.