The Mispillion Riverwalk Art Walk

Aug 8 2017 /


Greetings Fellow Adventurers!

Bisecting our city is the Mispillion River. This body of water running through downtown, makes Milford stand out as a town that possesses a treasure of options for local adventures.  Yet sadly, its waters and Riverwalk are often free of adventurers.  Our downtown gem, The Mispillion Riverwalk, will be highlighted in a series of Adventure Local columns to fully capture its wealth of outdoor rec options. Welcome on this latest local adventure!

Among the features along the Riverwalk are: 45+ benches, 5 bridges, a dam, a historic shipyard, a dog park, an island, and 18 Augusta art boats. For this first column in the series, our adventure will focus on the art to be found on the Riverwalk, namely the Augusta boats.

The Mispillion Art League contributed immensely to the increased sensory experience of the Riverwalk by organizing the art installation of 18 Augusta boats.  The boat are miniatures of the luxury vessel built in the Vinyard Shipyard, also along the Riverwalk, in 1927.  The boats give whimsy to the Riverwalk which enhances its all-around appeal. To best immerse yourself in the art installations, start at the beginning of the Riverwalk.

The Riverwalk is best begun near God’s Way To Recovery thrift store. Parking is plentiful, and there is space to unload bicycles if you choose to ride. Look to the left when facing the thrift store, and you’ll see the start of the path marked with a map. Be mindful, that the Rules of the Trail apply to the Riverwalk.  These courtesy rules state that wheels must be stopped or walked when encountering people on foot. The Riverwalk is hard surfaced and ADA compatible, the presence of which is thanks to Gary Emory and the people of Milford Parks and Rec. 

Follow the path, listen for the sound of gurgling water, and see the dam that creates a small waterfall.  Tiny yes, but sticks are so fun to toss into its falls. Continue along the boardwalk, cross the bridge, and look to the right.  The grassy area is prime waterfowl nesting.  Watching and feeding a large gathering of geese and ducks can happen here.

As you exit the boardwalk, cross the parking lot and street carefully so that you are walking beside the old firehouse.  This beautiful brick building has recesses where the large doors allowed fire truck access.  See if your children can tell where the doors used to be.  Ask them what they would like the old firehouse to become. As you round the corner head across the street to the charming shop, Novel Tea Nook.  Tell them you are on a Riverwalk adventure, and you will be given an Augusta art scavenger hunt. Then, follow the sidewalk down Front street to continue left onto the Riverwalk.  Now begins your art adventure. Listed here is the scavenger hunt, with each Augusta named according to how my sons see the boat. Encourage art interpretation in your children by giving fun names to each boat. 

Augusta Art Scavenger Hunt

  1. Big Mouth Fish.  Find the independent turtle. What do you like to do on your own?
  2. Shipwreck. Find the mermaid. What treasures do you think are in the ship?
  3. Quill. Find the inkwell. What bird’s feather would best make a quill?
  4. Actual Augusta 1. Find the person wearing stripes.  Who do you think he is?
  5. Gallery 37. Find the ducklings. How many waterfowl can you name?
  6. Theatre. Find Annie. What is your favorite show?

After boat 6, you will need to make a left down the sidewalk towards the pedestrian crosswalk.  

     7. Mosaic. Find the mascot of Milford High School. What is a Buccaneer?

     8. Downtown. Find the rubber duck. What is your favorite place to visit downtown?

Cross on the crosswalk; make a right when across the street. Follow the sidewalk down to corner of Walnut and SE Front St where you will find,

     9. Ocean Sunset. Find the ladybug. What importance does the ladybug hold to the state of Delaware?

Retrace your steps; make a right at the Santa House, where you see the river behind. Continue to follow the river along the Riverwalk crossing streets carefully.

     10. Bicycle. Find the people on bicycles. If you could ride your bike anywhere, where would you go?

      11. Joan and Sudler. Find the nesting Shorebirds. Where nearby can you watch Shorebirds in their native habitat?

     12. Sunset. Find your favorite color. What comes to mind when you look at these colors?

     13. Black and White. Find the sunburst.  What other objects in nature come to mind when you look at the lines?

     14. Newspaper. Find the sleeping quarters on the Augusta. Would you like to have an Augusta yacht?

     15. Inspire. Find the quote about a town. What quote is your favorite?

Continue straight past the gated tree.

     16. Actual Augusta 2. Find the toilet. Where did the waste go?

Cross the big bridge over the Mispillion River and turn left and continue straight to the remaining two Augusta’s.

    17. Inclusive. Find the image that best represents you. What does it mean to be inclusive?

     18. Luna. Find the moon.  What makes this boat different from the others?

Now that you’ve had a Riverwalk art adventure, pick your favorite path back to the start.

The Mispillion Riverwalk provides a host of options for outdoor recreation.  I look forward to continuing this series in hopes that more adventure local families will enjoy its treasures.  The greater presence we give the Mispillion River, the more goodness will happen on its water, banks, and Riverwalk.  See you outside.

– Jenn Rowan 

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