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Two Northern New Castle County organizations receive state funding for community improvement projects

Quinn Kirkpatrick
Delaware Public Media

Two Northern New Castle County organizations receive $700,000 in state funding for community improvement projects.

The Friends of Brandywine Springs - a group dedicated to preserving the history of Brandywine Springs Park - is receiving $450,000 from the state’s Bond Bill for improvements in the park.

Almost 100 years ago Brandywine Springs park was home to a popular Victorian amusement park and hotel.

Mark Lawlor is a historian and member of the Friends of Brandywine Springs. He says while the park has some amenities, its history is largely unknown.

“It’s one of the only places in the United States where you can walk around the remains of a Victorian amusement park and see some of the footers and foundations. And really try to picture yourself in the middle of an amusement park and smell the popcorn and hear the kids laughing on the merry-go-round and screaming on the roller coaster,” said Lawlor.

The new state funding will allow Friends of Brandywine Springs to improve the park’s historical signage, and make key improvements to the trails and pathways.

The remaining $250,000 in Bond Bill funding will help Millcreek Neighbors for Safer Pathways.

That group formed in 2019 following the death of a young woman who was trying to cross Newport Gap Pike. It intends to use this new funding to create more safe walkways that make local parks more accessible.

One of the group’s members, Pat Carlozzi, says their work is closely connected to investments in Brandywine Springs Park

“During the pandemic we did a lot of surveying and the people in this area, the number one thing they said was they love the parks, but they wish they could walk here. So that’s our goal,” explained Calozzi. “And now that we’re going to have this beautiful park, there’s going to be even more demand for getting here safely. So we hope that future strategic plans will include funding for even more connections.”

The funding for Millcreek Neighbors for Safer Pathways comes from DNREC’s portion of the 2023 Bond Bill - while the Brandywine Springs Park funding comes from Community Redevelopment Fund.

Quinn Kirkpatrick was born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware and a graduated of the University of Delaware. She joined Delaware Public Media in June 2021
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