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First phase of new park project in Seaford is underway

The first phase of a new park project is underway in the City of Seaford.

Ground was broken last week on phase one of the revitalization of the old J.B. Robinson Oyster House site along the Seaford Riverwalk.

“This has been a project that has been in the works for about three years," said Seaford Mayor David Genshaw. "We’ve been working in partnership with the Chesapeake Conservancy. And really through their financial commitment to this project, they were able to help us negotiate the purchase of the property right on the riverfront.”

Randy Larrimore is a board member with the Chesapeake Conservancy - an Annapolis, Maryland-based nonprofit. He says this initial phase focuses on enhancing access to the Nanticoke River, “Until we started with this park there was no really public space to get into the River from downtown Seaford. You could go and launch a boat from outside of Seaford somewhere, but this will be the first time someone could launch a kayak from downtown Seaford and paddle to Woodland (Beach) or all the way to the Chesapeake (Bay) if they wanted.”

Mayor Genshaw says the park will feature a kayak and canoe launching site, a boardwalk and a replica of the oyster house on the riverbank during the 1900’s. It will also feature an amphitheater.

The project’s first phase costs $1.2 million and is funded through a mix of private and public resources.

Genshaw says it should be completed next spring and ready for public use by summer 2021.

U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) released the following statement on the groundbreaking for the first phase of the revitalization of the old J.B. Robinson Oyster House site along the river walk in Seaford.

"Seaford is a truly unique gateway to the Nanticoke River and an ideal location for fishing and recreation," said Sen. Coons. "I'm thrilled that Seaford residents will soon have better public access to the beautiful river, which honors a rich cultural history as an important part of our state. As someone who spent a lot of time in local government doing land-use planning, I know how challenging this process can be, and I'm grateful to Mayor Genshaw and all the community partners who've made this project a reality."

Subsequent phases will take place over a five-year period and the entire project is estimated to cost $6 to $7 million, according to Mayor Genshaw.

Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.