by Terry Rogers
In May the City of Milford celebrated National Kids to Parks Day, a promotion sponsored by the National Park Trust on the third Saturday of May each year. The program is designed to encourage families to get out and enjoy the many parks in the area.
“It is important that we introduce the next generation to our local parks,” City Manager Eric Norenberg said. “We believe that this program will encourage children to lead a more active lifestyle which has been shown to combat childhood obesity, diabetes, hypertension and other illnesses related to a sedentary lifestyle.”
Milford has many park options available for families. Bicentennial Park, located on Northeast Front Street, has many walking paths and connects to the Milford Riverwalk. The Riverwalk allows residents and visitors to stroll along the Mispillion River, visit Milford’s restaurants and stores while watching wildlife in their natural habitat. There is also a public basketball court available near the park where “pick-up” games are common. Banneker Park, located by Banneker Elementary School, also offers public basketball courts.
Marvel Square Park is located next to the Parks and Recreation Building on Franklin Street. There is a playground designed for young children. Two pickle ball courts and a volleyball court are available for public use and there is an open pavilion for picnics.
The Can-Do Playground, located in Tony Silicato Memorial Park off of Airport Road behind the Boys and Girls Club is a project that was funded and completed by the Milford Rotary Club. The playground is designed for children of all abilities. It was the first playground of its kind in central and southern Delaware. It includes a Boundless Playground, an integrated play area that is barrier free, socially inviting and contains play environmental groupings. Children who are 100 percent disabled can still play on the equipment at the Can-Do Playground. In addition to the playground, Tony Silicato Memorial Park hosts soccer games through Parks and Recreation as well as a Disc Golf course.
Goat Island, a man-made island located at the end of Marshall Street on the Mispillion River, allows visitors to view four different ecosystems along a boardwalk trail. There are overlook areas and benches where families can learn more about this unique ecosystem. The island was created by shipbuilders as a way to straighten the river to make way for large ships that were built in local shipyards. It is believed it got its name when goats owned by a local farmer were housed there.
Milford even offers a park for the fur babies in the family. The Milford Dog Park, located at the entrance to Goat Island at 1 Marshall Street, has two sections, one for large dogs and one for small dogs. Dogs can be unleashed inside the fenced area which offers seating for people as well as a water fountain with a low bowl for dogs. All dogs must be licensed and must be supervised by their owner at all times.
Abbott’s Mill Nature Center offers options for hiking, canoeing, fishing and bird watching. The Nature Center has a preserved, working mill and is owned by Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. It is a unique nature preserve with boardwalks that allow visitors to view wetland habitats. Along the trail and boardwalks are teaching stations designed to provide information about the many types of wild and plant life that thrive at Abbott’s Mill.
DuPont Nature Center, located on the edge of the Mispillion Harbor where the Mispillion River and Cedar Creek intersect, offers a wide range of interactive exhibits, tours and educational programs. Visitors are able to view sea life in several exhibits inside the building, including horseshoe crabs and diamondback terrapins. There is a large deck that overlooks the harbor where spawning horseshoe crabs and migrating shorebirds provide entertainment.
All parks in Milford and the surrounding area are open from dawn to dusk. Alcohol and smoking are not permitted in any parks. For more information, contact Milford Parks and Recreation at (302)422-1104.
Sign up for you free digital subscription of The Weekly Review, delivered directly to your email every Tuesday morning. A quick cover-to-cover read to catch up on the news of the week and experience great stories about our local communities. Sign up for your free email subscription below.