Officials gathered on Tuesday to announce the expansion of the Alapocas Run State Park near Wilmington. The Nemours Foundation has donated nearly 46 acres of forest to the state park.
The property is between two areas of state-owned land. It had been maintained by the Nemours estate but was not being used for any particular purpose.
Roy Proujansky, the executive vice president of the Nemours Foundation, says this land donation is important for encouraging appreciation of nature and promoting the health of young Delawareans.
“There’s no question that there’s a strong link between children’s health and physical activity and healthy eating so to create something to promote physical activity and being outdoors is just a natural step to improving to the health of all children in Delaware," said Proujansky.
Parts of the Northern Delaware Greenway and Bancroft Trails were also upgraded to a paved surface. This improvement was to allow for more accessibility, especially for bikers, and year-round use. The newly repaved sections add up to one mile.
DNREC Secretary David Small says they hope the recent improvements to the state park will benefit the dense urban population that lives around it.
“We want to put trails where people are," said Small. "We don’t want to build trails where people have to drive to. If we can create a system where people can use it as an alternative mode of transportation to maybe get to a library, a market or a job, even, they could do that by either walking or on bicycle, that’s a great thing.”
Small added that at the start of 2016, there will also be improvements to the Tri-Valley Trail near Newark and the Junction and Breakwater Trail in Lewes.