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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
thought i would start a discussion about this. anyone is free to chime in, even if you're not from delaware.

delaware has the disticntion of being the only state with no national park or no place that's part of the national park system. this has recently come to light in the state congress. only ideas are being thrown around though. one suggestion to change this is to make a national historic park that would combine all of delaware history to make "delaware historical national park" or something like that. the main sites in the park would be the 7th street peninsula in wilmington (central site of the only swedish colony in north america) and historic houses in kent county (important stations on the underground railroad).

what are your thoughts? what would you do for a national park? some ideas i have had: winterthur as a historical park; bombay hook wildlife refuge becaomes a park; white clay creek becomes a park (even though it is or will be a national wild and scenic river, i think); the cypress swamp in sussex county as a park. are there any things that you think should be a national park> what's a good idea, and what's bad (i think the white clay creek idea is bad, since it's a thin piece of land with some historical factories along it; a good one would be winterthur, since it's already somewhat close to it's original state)?

also, what re your thoughts on the only suggestion that has been made so far? personally, i think it's a dumb idea to combine everything. the swedish historical site should be a park in it's own right; as for the underground railroad stops. i can just see someone saying, "well, delaware's such a stupid little state, we should combine the state's 400 year history into one park that dots the map, because there's nothing important enough to be it's own park". i think if we were to combine things that are completely unrelated with each other and make it into one park, out of staters will only laugh at us.
 

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I don't really know whats there... but I saw some photos once of what looked like a very nice colonial street/town in Delaware. I can't remeber the name but whatever it was looked like it should defintely be in some colonial heritage park.
 

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Are you sure that Delaware is the only state without a National Park? I grew up in Connecticut and cannot think of any parks there being part of the National Park system.

As a matter of fact, the only national parks in all of New England that I can recall are Acadia in Maine and Cape Cod National Seashore in Mass. Maybe something historical in Boston as well.

That leaves Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Darrell said:
Are you sure that Delaware is the only state without a National Park? I grew up in Connecticut and cannot think of any parks there being part of the National Park system.

As a matter of fact, the only national parks in all of New England that I can recall are Acadia in Maine and Cape Cod National Seashore in Mass. Maybe something historical in Boston as well.

That leaves Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.
i'm not sure what's in connecticut, but it was presented as fact in the delaware state legislature that delaware is the only state with nothing in the national park system.

just some of my guesses as for what's in connecticut: maybe the mark tawin house in hartford, or the mystic seaport in mystic, are national historic sites. again, i'm not sure about any of this.
 

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I think the cypress swamp (or as we call it downstate - the burnt swamp) would make a great national park. It is the furthest north cypress swamp in the country and represents a very large undeveloped portion of sussex county. Its a nice place to drive through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thought i would bring back this discussion with an article.

Carper to make pitch for national park in Del.
All counties included in coastal heritage plan


When you think about wide-open spaces, sweeping vistas and national parks, Delaware is about the last place that comes to mind.

But today, Sen. Tom Carper will make his pitch to the Senate's National Park Subcommittee to change that by creating a national park in Delaware, the only state that does not have one.

"Historically, people thought of a national park as something huge," Carper said. "Delaware is not huge. But there is a lot of amazing history that has been made in the state."

Carper's park proposal is far from typical.

He is not asking for money to purchase land that would become a massive federal holding. Instead, he wants a federal heritage area that would encompass city and state parks and land owned by private commissions and foundations in all three counties.

The properties would continue to be owned, maintained and operated by the current owners, but would be linked under a common theme: Delaware's coastal heritage.

"The Park Service doesn't come in and take over," said David Barna, a spokesman for the National Park Service. "It has all the wonderful benefits" of a national park "but it allows local control."

The federal parks agency manages 388 properties across the country. Some are national parks, some are national seashores and some are battlegrounds or forts.

Each year there are 10 to 15 requests for studies of potential new sites. About half the requests make it through the study stage, Barna said.

Request for study

Carper is asking the committee to endorse legislation asking for a parks service study of the Delaware plan.

Carper said the cost of the study is estimated at less than $200,000. The study would be the first major step in the process toward congressional approval of a heritage area in the state.

It is a proposal that Carper has been working on since 2003.

Carper said he and his family were planning a trip to a national park and when they went to the National Park Service Web site, they found nothing in Delaware. They ended up visiting Alaska and a national park that was bigger than the state of Delaware.

Carper is not the first person to think about a park for Delaware. More than a decade ago, Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., suggested a national park be designated at the Great Cypress Swamp -- a 6,000-acre tract owned by the nonprofit Delaware Wild Lands.

That plan met with opposition from local lawmakers and others who said the wild and environmentally fragile nature of the area made it unsuitable for a national park.

The current proposal would not have that problem.

"Delaware has a rich historical, coastal heritage," Carper said. "Frankly, not too many people across the country know about it."

A unique concept

Carper established a National Parks Committee in the fall of 2003 with representatives from around the state.

James R. Soles, the retired professor of political science and international relations at the University of Delaware, chaired the committee.

"We looked for something that was important to our national history," Soles said.

At meetings and public workshops throughout the state, the same theme kept coming up, Soles said.

Delaware had a unique coastal heritage dating from prehistoric settlements of native peoples, through settlement by Europeans, colonization, slavery and abolition, war and modern times, Soles said.

The key, Soles said, was coming up with a common theme to showcase what is unique for Delaware and the nation.

In the end, the committee decided "Delaware reflected the nation's coastal heritage," he said.

The members also concluded that the park didn't have to be a contiguous piece of land, or cost hundred of millions of dollars to purchase, he said.

Jim Rockwell, director of operations for the Kalmar Nyckel, Delaware's replica of the ship that brought Swedish settlers to Wilmington, said his organization supports the proposal.

"Anything to help develop the peninsula as an historic site, we'd be in favor of," he said.

The Delaware concept fits between those of Mystic, Conn., which showcases northern coasts, and the Jamestown-Yorktown historic complex in Virginia, which features that maritime heritage.

"There's nothing in between," he said.

Tim Slavin, the state director of historical and cultural affairs, will testify in support of Carper's proposal at today's hearing. He said a heritage area is a wonderful opportunity to tell the many stories of Delaware's coastal area.

"That was the heartbeat of Delaware," he said. The heritage area "would be linking it all together."

Slavin said he believes national parks teach visitors stewardship and give them a sense of pride.

"That's what we want in Delaware," he said. "It's a national experience."

Historic attractions included

Delaware's coastal heritage park would link a string of possible attractions that draw on many pieces of Delaware's history.

Wilmington historic sites, including Old Swedes Church, the Kalmar Nyckel and Tubman-Garrett Park could be one hub.

A second probably would be created in southern New Castle County and would link attractions such as Fort Delaware and Fort DuPont near Delaware City.

In Kent County, the hub would include Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge and the John Dickinson Plantation, along with fishing villages such as Leipsic, Little Creek and Bowers Beach.

Sussex County's hub would include historic sites in the Lewes area, along with Fort Miles in Cape Henlopen State Park, the Nanticoke Indian Museum in Oak Orchard and the Indian River Lifesaving Station south of Dewey Beach.

"A national park in Delaware will boost tourism and the state's economy," Carper said. "A national park here will put Delaware on the map and make the state a more attractive place to visit."
 

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oh yeh, just because somethig is not a "national park" does not mean its not a part of the "naitonal park system" there are all sorts of things like national monuments and historicle sites and a bunch of other things..I don't think National Forests count, but they might. There is no point in putting a National Park in Delaware just for the sake of DE having a NP. that is just stupid. THe only good thing about Delaware is the beaches and no sales tax. dont try to pretend there is anything more...Delware should have thought about this before they decided to become a sate in the first place lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
national forests do not count as part of the national park service system, as far as i know. i didn't see them listed on the national park service website.

delaware has nothing: no national park, national monument, national historic site, national scenic trail, national memorial, etc.
 
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