Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Delaware State Parks make changes in the face of COVID surge

Delaware Public Media

Rising COVID numbers in Delaware are also having an impact on State Park access.

Delaware is still welcoming visitors who want to hike, bike or otherwise enjoy what its 17 State Parks have to offer.

But DNREC spokeswoman Nikki Lavoie wants to make people aware that parks are closing some facilities or reducing hours due to the latest surge in coronavirus cases and associated staffing issues.

“So that might include State Parks, nature and wildlife areas - they continue to stay open - but we are reducing hours at (places like) the Brandywine Zoo. Public restroom facilities in State Parks and Reserves are closing but we are making portable toilets available," said Lavoie.

Lavoie notes because it is wintertime, several Delaware nature centers are already closed - such as the DuPont Nature Center.

The closures and reduced hours will remain in effect through at least the end of this month.

Lavoie adds that DNREC is committed to keeping most State Parks and nature and wildlife areas open during the pandemic so that people can get outdoors - if just for a few hours - but the current case level requires these changes.

But Lavoie adds DNREC also wants to keep visitors and staff safe.

Campground facilities remain open and all State Park offices are available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Ommelanden Hunter Education Training Center in New Castle continues to operate - but with reduced days and hours by appointment only. And mandatory in-person hunter education field days this month will continue, but with fewer students in smaller groups.

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