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Middletown is getting a new county park

A corn field in Middletown could become the latest New Castle County park as early as next year. It will be the 249th county-operated park in New Castle County— but only the 6th south of the C&D canal, according to officials.

 

County Executive Matt Meyer says the 100-acre site chosen on Shallcross Lake Road is centrally located, with about 30,000 people living within five miles. That figure is projected to grow to around 50,000 residents, he says.

Officials say Tuesday’s announcement reflects the administration’s commitment to new park investments in the Middletown-Odessa-Townsend area — the County’s fastest-growing region.

County Councilman Dave Carter hopes the park will tie together a community he says is “being strained by the rates of development.”

“In southern New Castle County, we’re going through drastic changes,” he said. “Our community is much larger, much [more] diverse. We don’t know each other as well. And a large part of why this site was so important is because it really can bring so many people together into a common area. To rub elbows, to get to know each other, to begin to build trust.”

A county "parks task force" recommended a park in the vicinity in 2017 based in part on public surveys.

 

The county plans to hold public meetings to choose park amenities beginning at the end of the summer.

The site on Shallcross Lake Road is already owned by the county, a fact officials say will cut down on costs.

 

Sophia Schmidt is a Delaware native. She comes to Delaware Public Media from NPR’s Weekend Edition in Washington, DC, where she produced arts, politics, science and culture interviews. She previously wrote about education and environment for The Berkshire Eagle in Pittsfield, MA. She graduated from Williams College, where she studied environmental policy and biology, and covered environmental events and local renewable energy for the college paper.
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