Each year, several thousand residents and visitors come to the Lewes Canalfront Park for a variety of seasonal activities, events, recreation and relaxation.
Since its opening in August 2009, the decking on which visitors stroll along the canal, benches throughout the park and the entrance porch to the Net House above the Park have significantly deteriorated.
In August, the state of Delaware responded to a request from the Greater Lewes Foundation and City of Lewes with a $500,000 Community Reinvestment grant to carry out these important repairs.
In addition to events sponsored by Friends of the Park, visitors enjoy tours of the Lightship Overfalls; use of a maritime-themed tots’ playground; pickleball, tennis and basketball at Park courts; Little League baseball on adjacent fields, and use of the Net House for non-profit meetings. The Park has also become a popular site for weddings and other family celebrations.
The decking, which is deteriorating, will be fully replaced with sturdy grapa bamboo planking with a significantly longer lifespan than the current cedar planks. Twelve wooden benches are being replaced and the Net House porch and decking will be replaced.
In thanking Delaware Sen. Ernie Lopez and Rep. Steve Smyk, Joe Stewart, chair of the GLF, said, “This is another great example of what an be achieved through public-private collaboration.”
Stewart noted the long history of the GLF working with the City, and often State, on important local projects, including creation of the Canalfront Park, relocation of the boat ramp from the Park to the end of Pilottown Road, construction of a trailhead for biking, completion of the new Lewes Public Library, installation of a Lewes Town Clock, creation of LEWES GO FOURTH! fireworks, and other important local projects.
More recently, Stewart said, the GLF has been entrusted by Delaware’s Historic and Cultural Affairs with restoration of the Nassau School in Belltown and redesign of the deVries Monument, the “cradle of Delaware.”