At a recent meeting, Milford City Council authorized Brad Dennehy, Parks and Recreation Manager, authorization to move forward with converting 19 acres of land, known as the Sharp property, into a city park and trail system. The city purchased the land, located next to the former Rookery North, several years ago.
“The idea is grounded in Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Trails Program (ORPT) funding with DNREC which is an outdoor trails program which the City of Milford has been successful in getting funds for over the years, we’ve been the recipient of 19 different funding cycles,” Dennehy said. “So, the city has purchased this property. We have a design consultant at the moment who has created this, again, a concept rendering of what it could be. So, it’s very preliminary at this stage, but the next step in this process would be moving forward with a contract with a design professional to put an entranceway, parking lot and moving forward with the playground.”
Councilman Dan Marabello, who grew up in New York City, suggested that the city look for the best designer they can for the new park which will be known as Sharp’s Farm Park.
“Just as a comment, I grew up in New York City, knowing parks that started from nothing that look like they are natural,” Councilman Marabello said. “Federal Hall, I’m sure you heard of it, that are designed to show your heritage. And I’m hoping we get the very best and the design of it is designed with a purpose. There’s a connectivity with all the land around it and possible future land.”
Dennehy agreed, stating that he felt this section of land would be a guiding light in the greenway additions in the town.
“I know that’s a bit of a blank canvas there at the moment. But we have to start somewhere and again, this is just preliminary concept, but it is the first concept. The first thing is to get the road put in there and the parking lot and get access to that site,” Dennehy said. “And I think there will be several more meetings related to designs that will go through the Parks and Rec Advisory Board, we will canvass a lot more comments. So again, tonight that is very much a concept plan. That again, we need a resolution to back a concept in order to get funding from DNREC. The plan can always change but it’s important for DNREC to know that the mayor and council is serious about these projects and moving forward.”
Mayor Archie Campbell asked if more pickleball courts would be placed in the new park.
“It’s a blank canvas. Whatever you would like to see, whether it is pickleball or I’m sure there are some gentlemen in the room here today who would like to see some tennis courts there,” Dennehy said. “I’m sure as Councilman Culotta wants to see a bike track out there. What we will do is take the input and we will gather your esteemed input, opinions and importantly, the public’s opinions as well. But again, this is money on the table. We have a good track record with DNREC of moving forward with constructible projects and completing them. So again, the resolution is basically a support of this project.”
Carolyn Price asked where exactly the property was located. Dennehy explained that leaving Milford from Front Street, she would cross Marshall Pond and head towards Route 1. The park would be just before what is now the Southern Delaware Golf Course. The property is adjacent to the golf course.
The city purchased the Sharp property in August 2021 with the intention of creating a park on the land. City council approved the request unanimously.
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