Winners of annual environmental education campaign announced
Wilmington, DE – Today New Castle County Executive Matthew Meyer and County Council member Robert Weiner marked Earth Day by reviewing ongoing work to create a wetland habitat at the County’s Talley Day Park in Brandywine Hundred. Over the past several years, County government has improved public access to the Park’s adjacent Streed Property, a former farmstead, by constructing walking paths and building the County’s first “Dog Park” on the site, bringing the residents into the Streed family’s former orchard and vegetable garden area. During the past two years the County’s storm water management program has worked to convert a low-lying yard adjacent to Shellpot Creek into a sculpted wetland that will protect the environment by helping to control storm water runoff, reduce erosion and use native plants to support a wetland habitat.
During their visit, the County Executive and Council member Weiner commemorated Earth Day by planting a tree that is part of the project’s landscaping plan. The swamp white oak is native to the region, thrives in wetlands and will provided habitat for wildlife.
“We are committed to improving accessibility to our public lands through walking paths that encourage physical activity and connect our residents with natural areas in their own backyards, while also being responsible stewards of these lands by enacting measures to control runoff and erosion which protects our environment,” County Executive Meyer said. “I recognize the longstanding investment County Council has made to this effort and I deeply value the commitment the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary has made to work with us to reduce the environmental impact from county lands on our watershed. Through initiatives like Earth Day and our County’s Great Schools Clean Streams Campaign I am reminded that every member of our community can play a role in making New Castle County a healthy place to live and work.”
During his visit County Executive Meyer, an avid cycler, rode his bike along part of the Talley Day Park’s popular perimeter trail that runs across the project area. When the wetland project is complete County officials plan to construct a raised boardwalk through the wetland habitat with signage that will provide public education about the wetland and its impact on the ecosystem.
“Talley Day Park is a local treasure that is enjoyed by thousands of New Castle County residents each year,” said County Council member Bob Weiner. “I’m proud of our work to build walking and bike paths on this beautiful open space. And now, through our latest effort to construct a new wetland habitat, we are making this a recreational and educational destination for members of our community while preserving the legacy of the Streed family for generations to come.”
The Streed property wetland is just one of several wetland habitat projects New Castle County has established in cooperation with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, which provides technical expertise to incorporate best management practices, including vegetative buffers around wet ponds, planting open spaces into natural meadows and converting water retention areas into rain gardens. The Partnership also provides funding for the purchase of native vegetation and recruits volunteers for planting activities.
Additionally, today New Castle County announced the winners of this year’s Great Schools Clean Streams annual environmental education campaign which enlists school communities to raise awareness of the environmental harm from pouring kitchen grease and oils down the drain and into the County’s wastewater treatment system. From March 29 through April 20, county residents participated by pledging to dispose of used cooking grease properly by completing a pledge form at www.GreatSchoolsCleanStreams.org. Pledges were assigned to the public, charter, or private school of their choice and sixteen schools that collect the most pledges claimed their share of $10,000 in cash awards to purchase classroom materials and to support campus projects. 6,021 total pledges were made over the three-week campaign and the following schools registered the most pledges to secure cash prizes for 2017:
First Place ($1,750 award): Odyssey Charter School - 480 pledges
Second Place ($1,250 award): First State Montessori Academy – 465 pledges
Third Place ($750 award): MOT Charter School – 333 pledges
First Place ($1,750 award): Christ the Teacher Catholic School – 374 pledges
Second Place ($1,250 award): Ursuline Academy - 359 pledges
Third Place ($750 award): Caravel Academy – 202 pledges
Honorable Mentions ($250 awards each):
Linden Hill Elementary School – 310 pledges
Thurgood Marshall Elementary School – 280 pledges
William Penn High School – 223 pledges
Forest Oak Elementary School – 190 pledges
Mount Pleasant Elementary School – 175 pledges
North Star Elementary School – 175 pledges
The Independence School – 162 pledges
The Tatnall School – 149 pledges
Holy Angels Elementary School – 147 pledges
St. Edmonds Academy – 146 pledges