By Terry Rogers
On Thursday, March 23, Abbott’s Grill will hold a Wild Game Dinner as a fundraiser for Delaware Wild Lands, an organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the natural beauty, as well as the unique character, of Delware’s natural resources. According to Kate Hackett, Executive Director of Delaware Wild Lands, the organization currently owns over 20,000 acres of protected wild land.
“Since our founding, we have purchased over 31,000 acres of land that we protect from development,” Ms. Hackett said. “Of that land, we have turned over 10,000 to the State of Delaware for recreational purposes. Many people are unaware that we protect and preserve a large area near Milford Neck. Nine miles of that land is beaches. Our neighbors are the State of Delaware and the Nature Conservancy, so the natural habitat for hundreds of animals, sea life and birds are protected.”
Ms. Hackett said that the Milford Neck area is very special as it is incredibly diverse. Delaware Wild Lands began investing in the area when they purchased 1,775 acres from the Delaware Bay Transport Company and the area has nearly doubled since the initial purchase. The land includes low-slope beaches backed by an extensive saltmarsh complex that extends up the Murderkill and Mispillion Rivers.
“The Delaware Bay has the second largest population of horseshoe crabs that lay eggs along the shoreline in Milford Neck,” Ms. Hackett said. “Those eggs are the meal of choice for many species of migrating bird who stop to feed on the eggs on the way to their nesting locations. From the water moving inland, there are so many different species of animals. There are sea turtles, migrating birds, wild turkey and deer along with hundreds of small game animals like rabbits, squirrels and others.”
In an effort to draw attention to the wildlife area in Milford Neck, Delaware Wild Lands has partnered with Abbott’s Grill to create a wild game dinner. Ms. Hackett said that the organization is providing the chefs at Abbott’s with a selection of wild game, including venison, rabbit, duck and goose. The chefs are then preparing a 5-course meal using the wild game, although they may be supplementing with other proteins to round out the meal.
“All of the wildlife served at that meal will be locally sourced,” Ms. Hackett said. “This is similar to an event we have done at Cantwell’s Tavern in New Castle and it is always sold out. At this time, we don’t know what the meal will consist of as we are not sure what game will be provided to the chefs. In addition to the chefs creating a delicious meal, Abbott’s has graciously agreed to pair each course with a craft beer or wine offering. We chose Abbott’s because they are so committed to supporting Delaware, especially the Milford area. They go above and beyond to make Milford a better community.”
Tickets for the dinner are $100 per person and can be ordered online at the Delaware Wild Lands website (www.dewildlands.org). The ticket costs includes the meal, beverage pairings as well as door prizes that will be offered at the dinner. For more information, contact Delaware Wild Lands online or call 302-378-2736. Tickets may also be ordered via mail at PO Box 505, Odessa, DE 19730.