Biennial Report 2018-2019 - Page 9

Celebrating 10 Years of DuPont Environmental Education Center All photography on this page by Hank A. Davis except ariel shot Wilmington Riverfront Vision DuPont Environmental Education Center (DEEC) is a key part of the realization of the Riverfront Development Corporation of Delaware’s (RDC) vision of a thriving and revitalized riverfront. Since 1996, RDC has worked to transform the Wilmington Riverfront from an industrial wasteland along the Christina River into a thriving destination rich in history and filled with recreational, cultural, and culinary attractions. As part of this transformation, RDC worked with Delaware Fish and Wildlife to restore the wildlife refuge named for former Governor Russell W. Peterson, environmental activist. The wildlife refuge is a 212-acre urban, freshwater tidal marsh. At the centerpiece of the refuge is DEEC, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary in 2019. It was built by RDC and operates under a partnership with DelNature. DEEC engages 40,000-50,0000 visitors annually and offers panoramic views and a ¼ mile accessible pond loop and serves as a popular trailhead of the Jack Markell (JAM) Trail. The JAM trail, a scenic walkable, bikeable trail connecting the Wilmington riverfront to New Castle, Delaware, allows the public greater access to outdoors and recreation and enhances our ability to engage the local community with nature through programs like RENEW (Reaching and Engaging Through Nature to Empower Wilmington). RENEW Program RENEW works with youth to increase their connection to the outdoors and awareness of environmental health, improve understanding of careers available, and develop job and career readiness skills. Through afterschool clubs, internships and summer programs, RENEW introduces youth to natural spaces, environmental issues, hands-on environmental work and career skills that help participants learn the relationships between healthy water, healthy land, healthy food and healthy living. We worked with committed program partners to make RENEW a success including H. Fletcher Brown Boys and Girls Club, Kingswood Community Center, Wilmington Parks and Recreation, Hicks Anderson Community Center, Delaware Futures, and Neighborhood House. DEEC’s activities have been enhanced by its involvement in the Alliance for Watershed Education (AWE) of the Delaware River. AWE shares a mission to collectively increase and enhance constituent appreciation, knowledge, (Continued on page 10) 9