By Terry Rogers
On Thursday, October 19, the City of Milford celebrated downtown projects designed for recreation in the City. City and state officials were on hand to dedicate an educational pavilion and three nature overlooks by the Gary L. Emory Nature Trail on Goat Island as well as a new floating kayak dock and gangway on the Mispillion River. These two projects were completed using almost $140,000 in grant money.
“The recently completed kayak dock will be an asset for the resident and visitors alike and we anticipate it will get a lot of use over the summer months,” Brad Dennehy, Director of Public Works, said. “People will be able to paddle up, tie up to the dock and go get something to eat or explore downtown.” The dock, which cost $100,000, was completed with a $72,000 grant from Senator Gary Simpson and $17,500 from the DNREC Environmental Project Fund. The City provided the remaining $10,500 to complete the project.
The floating dock provides another entry and exit point to the river for kayakers, canoers and paddle boarders in a prime location. It is located near the heart of downtown and along the Riverwalk.
“I was very happy to be able to fund this project because I know it will bring a lot of enjoyment to the many folks who use the river for recreation,” Senator Simpson said. “I think it will also open up the river to others who may not have had the opportunity to explore its beauty as it meanders through woodlands making its way out to the Bay. I fully imagine that it will also lead to economic development from those in business to do rentals, eco-tours and perhaps even overnight camping trips along its banks.”
The educational pavilion and nature overlooks near Goat Island are intended to become part of a living classroom for both children and adults. They are designed to allow small groups to meet and learn about the environment from different vantage points on Goat Island. The project cost $100,000 with $50,000 in grant money provided by the DNREC Outdoor Recreation Parks and Trails Program. The City Capital Reserves paid the balance of the project.
“The aim of the educational pavilion and overlooks is to try and get both kids and adults alike outside exploring Goat Island,” Mr. Dennehy said. “Our hope is that, in the future, these can be used as part of a living classroom for students to get a hands-on understanding of native flora and fauna.”
In addition to these additions along the Riverwalk, the City announced that a grant from the Delaware Beverage Association and the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America would be used to purchase new dual recycling and trash containers. Last year, the City received half of the funding from DNREC for the new containers that are designed to support recycling efforts and to reduce litter. The Delaware Beverage Association and the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America grant will cover an additional 25 percent of the project.
“The Parks and Recreation Department was established over 40 years ago with a focus on the importance of offering recreational opportunities alongside the banks of the Mispillion River,” Mr. Dennehy said. “That vision continues today. We realize the importance of recreation to the quality of the lives of our residents and we love to see folks out on the river or enjoying our Riverwalk and park system. We are grateful to our local and state officials who share in our vision and appreciate their support in enriching both residents and visitors lives alike by these enhancements.”
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