Wednesday, Sep 12, 2007
On August 23rd, Trap Pond State Park officially joined the National Park Serviceâs Chesapeake Bay Gateways and Water Trails Network, becoming the first Chesapeake Bay Gateway in the state of Delaware.
Trap Pond State Park is a unique site among all the Bay Gateways, as it possesses the northernmost natural stand of bald cypress in the United States. The pond was created in the late 1700's to power a sawmill during the harvest of large bald cypress from the area. The federal government later purchased the pond and surrounding farmland during the 1930's, and the Civilian Conservation Corps began to develop the area for recreation. Trap Pond became one of Delaware's first state parks in 1951. Trap Pond drains to Broad Creek, eventually emptying into the Nanticoke River, which flows to the Chesapeake Bay.
âLinking the places people value to an understanding of the Chesapeake Bay as a watershed system is an integral part of the effort to conserve and restore the bay environment,â said John Maounis, superintendent of the Chesapeake Bay Program Office. âWe are proud to add Trap Pond to the network and encourage folks to spend some time exploring it and the other Chesapeake Bay Gateways.â
Attending the dedication were Senator Thomas R. Carper, Congressman Michael N. Castle, Secretary John A. Hughes of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, and Director Charles A Salkin, Delaware Division of Parks and Recreation.
"What an honor for Trap Pond to be the first Gateway site chosen in the First State,â said Senator Carper. âTo be added as a link in the unique Gateway system is exciting not only for our little state, but for all of the families that visit Trap Pond. Already a gorgeous and family-friendly park, this distinction will add another layer of history to its rich background."
One of the benefits of becoming a Chesapeake Bay Gateway is the ability to apply for financial assistance through the National Park Service for specific bay-related projects. During this event, Trap Pond State Park was awarded a 2007 Gateways grant in the amount of $25,000. Senator Carper did the honors, handing over the award to Director Charles Salkin.
âThe grant will be put to great use, as we plan and design a complete revitalization of the Baldcypress Nature Center here at Trap Pond,â said Salkin. âWe cannot wait to begin this project that will enable us to teach more visitors about both the natural history and living history of this wonderful park area.â