Governor Jack Markell has signed a proclamation declaring October as “Children in Nature Month” in Delaware. To mark the designation, DNREC’s Division of Parks and Recreation and other partners that comprise the Delaware Children in Nature Coalition will offer public programs designed to get children outdoors and into the beautiful fall weather. The goal of the Children in Nature Coalition is to engage children with nature by providing meaningful outdoor experiences.
In the spirit of “Children in Nature” Month MilfordLIVE.com has listed several venues and activities for local families to enjoy in the Greater Milford Area:
Bicentennial & Memorial Parks
The Mispillion Greenway Riverwalk,which consists of 23 phases, connects Maple Street to Goat Island by way of pedestrian and bicycle paths. The final phase of the Mispillion Greenway was dedicated this year with the opening of Goat Island. The project consists of an nine acre island located within the city limits containing four adjoining habitat environments: high woodland, tidal flooded woodland, tidal freshwater wetland marsh and open water. On the south bank of the Mispillion River a new dog park is scheduled to be completed this fall. With a separate area for small and large dogs, the park includes benches and water fountains for both humans and dogs.
Tony Silicato Memorial Park
The Can-Do Playground, located behind the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club in the Tony Silicato Memorial Park, is a unique public playground for children and families of all abilities in Central and Southern Delaware. The Can-Do Playground can be used by any child regardless of impairment or condition as the equipment is designed so that children of all abilities can play together. For example, the traditional sandbox has been updated to reflect kids of all needs by introducing sand tables. These tables are large containers full of sand that are raised to the waist level of children. This allows children in wheelchairs or other disabilities to play side-by-side with all children their age. There will also be other equipment, such as swings, to accommodate children of all needs so that can enjoy each other’s company next to one another. Tony Silicato Memorial Park is also home to several soccer fields used by Parks & Recreation and a Disc Golf Course.
Marvel Square Park
Located next to the Milford Parks & Recreation Building on Franklin Street, this park hosts playgrounds designed specifically for 2- to 5- year-old children and 6- to 12-year-old children. Next to an open pavilion area, two pickle ball courts and a volleyball court are lined for public use. Residents can visit the Parks & Recreation staff to use the necessary equipment for both games. Public basketball courts are also available at Banneker Park, next to Benjamin Banneker Elementary and Memorial South Park, across the river from Arena’s Deli & Bar.
Abbott’s Mill Nature Center
Located in a charming, rural setting in southern Delaware, Abbott’s Mill Nature Center is a real hidden jewel to the Milford community. As the weather dolls down the opportunities for outdoor recreation are abundant on and around Abbott’s Pond. Hiking, canoeing, fishing and bird watching are just a few activities that can be enjoyed right here in our backyard. Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, with its preserved, working mill, is owned by Delaware’s Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs and operated by the Delaware Nature Society. Located along Abbott’s Pond just southwest of Milford, the Nature Center manages 313 acres. This diverse nature preserve supports a variety of forested, field and wetland habitats and includes hiking trails, boardwalks and teaching stations that provide educational opportunities for all ages. Every Thursday the staff at the Abbott’s Mill Nature Center hosts their weekly nature walk through various parts of the reserve.
DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor Reserve
A DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife facility located in the heart of Delaware’s Bayshore Region, DuPont Nature Center will remain open until Friday, October 31.
Perched on the edge of Mispillion Harbor at the intersection of the mouths of the Mispillion River and Cedar Creek, the DuPont Nature Center at Mispillion Harbor Reserve offers a variety of interactive exhibits, school tours and educational programs. Indoor freshwater tanks allow a close-up look at a variety of aquatic species, from horseshoe crabs to diamondback terrapins. The center’s large deck overlooking the harbor offers wildlife watchers a front-row seat for the spring spectacle of spawning horseshoe crabs and the migrating shorebirds including the red knot that depend on horseshoe crab eggs to help fuel their 9,000-mile journey. The observation deck is open to the public year-round from sunrise to sunset. Dogs are welcome but must be licensed and kept on a leash not to exceed six feet in length.