James Farm Center for Inland Bays

James Farm education building construction starts

Betsy PriceCulture, Headlines

James Farm Center for Inland Bays

The Center for Inland Bays this week broke ground for a three-season education building at the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View.

The Delaware Center for the Inland Bays has broken ground for a three-season education building at the James Farm Ecological Preserve in Ocean View.

The preserve, managed by the Center on behalf of Sussex County since 1998, is a 150-acre nature preserve located along the Indian River Bay.

t’s open to the public 365 days a year and last year saw 33,000 visits for education, recreational and research reasons.

Wednesday’s ground-breaking officially heralds the start of the preserve’s phase II, designed to better accommodate environmental education, restoration, research and community recreation.

James Farm improvements

Planned enhancements include trail system improvements, a habitat restoration staging area, expanded storage and maintenance facilities, new interpretive and wayfinding signage, and the building.

It’s expected to be big enough to hold 70 people and to be equipped with electricity, presentation capabilities, counter space and sinks for lab activities.

“Sussex County is excited to see its long-standing partnership with the Center for the Inland Bays flourish in this project to build a new educational center showcasing the James Farm,” said County Councilman Doug Hudson, whose district includes the Preserve.

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“Improvements like this will help in our collective mission of educating children and adults alike about the importance of the Inland Bays ecosystem here in Sussex County, as well as preserving and protecting this coastal gem for generations to come,” he said.

To pay for the James Farm work, the center has started a $2.8 million capital campaign and is seeking state- and county-level funding, foundation grants, individual and corporate gifts, and in-kind donations of professional services, materials, and labor. To donate or learn more, go here.

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