Partners Applaud Momentum for New Park in Seaford
Seaford City Council Approves Master Plan
Seaford, DE – A group of community partners voiced their support this evening following the Seaford City Council’s vote approving the master plan for a new park at the site of the old J.B. Robinson Oyster House site along the Seaford River Walk. Supportive partners include Chesapeake Conservancy, Longwood Foundation, Crystal Trust, Welfare Foundation, Western Sussex Revitalization Corporation, and REI.
In October 2018, U.S. Senator Chris Coons and Seaford Mayor David Genshaw joined Chesapeake Conservancy at an event where the nonprofit announced that it had purchased the nearly 1-acre parcel of waterfront land. Chesapeake Conservancy then donated the land to the City of Seaford to become a small waterfront park with a kayak launch and other amenities. Chesapeake Conservancy was able to accomplish this purchase through the support of Mt. Cuba Center.
The Nanticoke River Watershed Conservancy holds an easement on the property, which specifies that it will be used exclusively for recreational access.
“Longwood is excited to provide a lead grant for the Seaford Oyster Park. When complete, this new park will link residents and visitors to thousands of acres we have been pleased to protect downstream in partnership with Chesapeake Conservancy and others. We look forward to seeing the project come to life,” said Longwood Foundation President Thère du Pont.
“I wish to thank our City Council for their approval of the master plan which allows us to get started. This project brings to life our history while celebrating the revitalization of Seaford’s waterfront and downtown. Now, both our citizens and visitors will get to see the real gift and treasure of the Nanticoke River. I wish to thank all of those who have partnered with us on this project to make it happen,” said Seaford Mayor David Genshaw.
“I am very excited about the continued support and forward momentum of the Oyster House project. The City of Seaford sits along the Nanticoke River, a beautiful river and important part of our state. Improving public access and better connecting residents to the Nanticoke is an integral mission of this project,” said Senator Coons. “I am also proud of the inclusive and open process of the project which has completed plans for this development. This significant project will not only allow Seaford residents to access the Nanticoke but will allow other Delawareans and visitors from all over to enjoy this scenic river and the City of Seaford.”
“Welfare Foundation is pleased to celebrate a major milestone for the joint effort between the City of Seaford and Chesapeake Conservancy on the Oyster House Park Project. We are delighted that the master plan has been approved and that our grant will help these community partners break ground on the first phase of this project,” said Welfare Foundation President and CEO Chris Grunder. “This local park will connect residents and all Delawareans to the Nanticoke River’s rich cultural and natural resources and will play a major role in positioning Seaford as the perfect place to start an outdoor adventure.”
“I am excited about the prospect of a park alongside the Nanticoke River that will bring more people to downtown Seaford. We see this as a key element in our plans to bring more business to local merchants and stimulate greater investment in Seaford,” said John Hollis, board member of the Western Sussex Revitalization Corporation.
“REI is glad to have provided some of the funding to help make Oyster Park a reality for City of Seaford and the surrounding communities. Our CO-OP is committed to making the outdoors more accessible for locals and visitors, and with the park including a new kayak launch, boaters will enjoy the beauty and bio-diversity of the Chesapeake from the water,” said Naz Ahmed, Experiences and Philanthropy Manager, Mid-Atlantic, REI.
Randy Larrimore, a native son of Seaford and the vice chair of Chesapeake Conservancy, spoke at the City Council meeting, “I couldn’t be more overjoyed that the City of Seaford is now positioned to take full advantage of the beautiful Nanticoke River as a critical component of its overall revitalization efforts. Having greater access to a healthy river will enrich the lives of everyone. I’d also like to thank Representative Danny Short, Senators Bryant Richardson and Brian Pettyjohn, and Sussex County Council President, Mike Vincent for their significant support of this project.