Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC announces $1.3M Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Trail Program grants award for parks and trails projects
DOVER (March 23, 2016) – DNREC’s Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Trails Program, formerly known as the Delaware Land & Water Conservation Trust Fund, has awarded $1.29 million to 14 parks and trails projects throughout the state, the department announced today.
“Parks and trails are an essential component of the fabric of our communities, contributing to our quality of life and our appreciation of the natural world,” said Governor Jack Markell. “Building new parks and trails or adding to those we have is a good investment both now and in the future. It means recreational opportunities and health benefits, and enhances the appeal of our communities as good places to live and raise our families, while making our state an even more attractive destination for visitors.”
“For nearly 30 years, the Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Trails grant program has supported many of Delaware’s municipalities as well as county government and state agencies by helping fund projects that enhance residents’ quality of life and their enjoyment of nature and recreational activities,” said DNREC Secretary David Small. “These grants continue that tradition, from projects such as the Town of Millville’s first public park to a new playground specially designed for children with autism and special needs at Glasgow Regional Park near Newark, to several additions and improvements to trails throughout the state.”
Of the seven park projects receiving grants, five involve replacing or upgrading playground equipment. The two largest grants were awarded to the Town of Millville to purchase property for the Sussex municipality’s first public park, and to New Castle County’s Glasgow Regional Park to design and build a new playground geared towards children with autism and special needs.
Millville, a 110-year-old town of just under 600 residents located west of Bethany Beach, purchased 4.9 acres to construct a park. Plans for the park include two playgrounds geared to ages 2-5 and 6-12, a fitness trail, a small community center, community garden and a fitness challenge course including an obstacle course and 40-yard dash with timer.
Glasgow Regional Park is a 300-acre park south of Newark on Route 40 that currently features a skate park with rails, steps and bowls; basketball and tennis courts; bark park areas for small and large dogs; four pavilions; a 2.75-mile walking trail; a stocked fishing pond, a sledding hill, and a large ADA-accessible playground with activities for ages 2-15.
Designed with input from Delaware autism groups and extensive research by New Castle County parks staff, the new half-acre playground area for children of all ages with special needs will be fully enclosed on a base of primarily artificial turf. Areas are specially designed for individual and group play, with emphasis on developing motor skills and providing sensory experiences. Pathways and seating for parents are included, along with special quiet areas for children who prefer more solitary participation, naturalized planted areas for play and a polished stainless steel sphere as a centerpiece to reflect faces and fun.
The seven trail projects receiving grants include the City of Milford’s project to construct an education pavilion and three nature overlooks along the city’s Gary L. Emory Nature Trail on Goat Island. Other projects include a bridge over White Clay Creek in Newark’s Curtis Mill Park; design for a boardwalk and elevated observation area on Slaughter Beach’s Marvel Saltmarsh Preserve; a multi-use concrete path through the City of Dover’s Mallard Pond Park to the new Dover High School, and a restroom and other amenities for the City of Lewes’ trailhead.
A complete list of the parks and trails projects that have received 2015 Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Trails Program grants is included below.
2015 Grant Awards through the Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Trails Program
Grants awarded to Parks:
New Castle County, Glasgow Regional Park – design/construction of new playground for children with autism and special needs, $200,000
Village of Arden – construct a mound slide, $8,000
City of Delaware City, 4th Street Park and 7th Street Park – replace playground equipment, $53,895
City of Dover, Mallard Pond Park – new playground equipment, $31,350
Town of Ellendale, Ellendale Town Park – replace playground equipment, $20,000
Town of Millville – acquire 4.9 acres on Dukes Drive for the town’s first public park, $200,000
Town of Fenwick Island, Fenwick Island Community Park – new playground equipment, $21,293
Grants awarded to trails:
New Castle County, Jester Park – design and construct a one-mile paved perimeter trail with community connections, $275,000
City of Newark, Curtis Mill Park – design and construct a bridge over White Clay Creek near Paper Mill Road, $200,000
City of Dover, Mallard Pond Park – construct a multi-use concrete path to provide a safe route to the new Dover High School, $50,000
Sussex County, James Farm Ecological Preserve – design, engineering and permitting work for parking, trails and signage improvements, $37,500
City of Milford, Goat Island – construct an education pavilion and three nature overlooks along the trail, $50,000
Town of Slaughter Beach, Marvel Saltmarsh Preserve – design a boardwalk and elevated observation area on Delaware Nature Society property, $17,750
City of Lewes, Lewes Trailhead – design and construct a restroom, pathways and amenities, $125,000
The Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Trails Program formerly known as the Delaware Land & Water Conservation Trust Fund as created by the Delaware General Assembly, is a grant program assisting local governments in public park land acquisition and outdoor recreation facility development. Eligible recipients are municipalities, counties, park districts and state agencies. Since the first grants were awarded in 1988, the program has assisted 44 of 57 municipalities, three counties, one park district and state agencies, resulting in 320 completed projects involving parkland acquisition, planning and development. The grant program has provided more than $27 million to these projects, leveraging $51 million in local and other eligible investments. These open spaces provide close-to-home outdoor recreation opportunities, gathering places for public events, activities and programs and directly conserve Delaware’s natural and cultural resources. Lands purchased or developed with assistance from the program must remain public parkland in perpetuity.
For more information about the Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Trails Program, formerly known as the Delaware Land & Water Conservation Trust Fund, please visit: Delaware State Parks/Outdoor Recreation Grants.
Vol. 46, No. 90