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Friends of White Clay Creek State Park Newsletter

Friends of White Clay Creek State Park

P.O. Box 9734

Newark, DE 19714-9734

http://fwccsp.udel. edu

Volume 4, No.2 October 2001

Reforestation Project Completed

Our reforestation project begun a year ago in the Possum Hill section of the park is now
complete. Nearly 2,000 trees ranging in height from three to seven feet have been planted in the
nine-acre field. The survival rate ofthe trees has been phenomenal to date. The beauty ofthe trees
in fall foliage is a testament to the work of scores of volunteers, to the cooperation between
Delaware State Parks and the Friends, and to our supporters, including the Longwood and Welfare
foundations, State Parks, Irwin Landscaping, The Geiger Companies, and Consolidated Sales, Inc.,
who provided funding and in-kind contributions. Thanks to all of you who helped make this project
a success.
The final planting took place on October 6, a rainy, windy Saturday morning. By 8:15, with
a starting time of 8:00, there were few volunteers in sight. And then despite the drenching rain they
began to appear. In all, about 120 people came to help. A large number were young people from
local high schools, Boy Scout troops, and the University of Delaware. Many members of the
Friends participated. All age groups were represented. It was inspiring to see the spirit and
steadfastness of our volunteers, young and old, planting trees in the rain.

Wild and Scenic River and Important Bird Area Designations Celebrated

Calling it "an expression of our heritage, our values and our commitment to future
generations," Delaware Senator Joe Biden presided over a ceremony at the park on September 24,
2001, that marked the final step on a journey that began more than 30 years ago-federal designation
of the White Clay Creek watershed of Pennsylvania and Delaware as a Wild and Scenic River. The
portion in Delaware is the state's first-and-only such designation.
Specifically, the designation will add an extra layer of protection to White Clay Creek by
requiring an in-depth review by the National Park Service of any proposed project requiring federal
permits or federal funding in the affected area. It also elevates the priority of the watershed when
applying for state, local, and federal preservation grants. Additional protection will come from a set
of comprehensive voluntary standards for development in the watershed that local jurisdictions
have agreed to follow.

The ceremony also recognized the designation of White Clay Creek State Park and Preserve
as an Important Bird Area of national significance by the National Audubon Society and the
American Bird Conservancy. This designation was made in recognition of the valuable wildlife
habitat in the White Clay Valley that provides nest sites for a number of endangered and
watch-listed bird species, such as the cerulean, hooded, prairie, and Kentucky warblers and the
grasshopper sparrow. It is hoped that this designation will provide additional impetus to ongoing
efforts to preserve habitat in the area.
Several members of the Friends of White Clay Creek State Park participated in various
ways in obtaining these important designations.

Mark Chura to Speak at Membership Meeting on November 1

There's a lot going on in the park, and here's your chance to find out about it. Our next
membership meeting is Thursday, November 1, 7:30 pm, at the Judge Morris House. It will feature
an informal presentation and discussion by Mark Chura, Manager of Planning, Preservation, and
Development for Delaware State Parks. Mark will discuss the status and plans for the many park
projects underway as well as those in the thinking stage.
Projects in progress include the Carpenter band shell and playground, Judge Morris parking
lot, and the new bikeway from the Carpenter parking lot to the creek. Projects being considered
include a new bikeway from Newark to the Wedgewood Road/Creek Road area, the barn
renovation at Judge Morris, plans for the Krapfhouse, the possible closures of parts of Creek
and/or Wedgewood roads, a new master plan for trails, and a bikeway extension from Hopkins
Road to Paper Mill Road.

Annual Meeting Program to be Repeated

Debbie Keese (formerly Paruszewski), manager of the Chambers House Nature Center at
the park, will repeat her slide presentation and discussion of historic sites and ruins in the park at
7:00 pm on Thursday, November 15, at the nature center. For those who missed her outstanding
presentation at our annual meeting in March or couldn't get in because of the large crowd, this is
your chance. Call 368-6900 for further information or to register.

Newark and Pike Creek Community Days Generate Interest in Friends Group

The Friends staffed a booth at Newark Community Day, September 16, on the University of
Delaware campus for the fourth year in a row. The booth served to educate the public about the
park and about our group and its activities. There was a high level of interest in the organization
exhibited throughout the day. Twenty-six parties signed up to receive further information, and
another six joined as members.
For the first time, the Friends participated with an information booth at the annual Pike
Creek Community Day held at Carousel Park on September 22. Many persons at the well-attended
event expressed interest in the park's programs and tr-ails and inthe Friends' activities. A number.of
people signed up to receive our next newsletter, and we added one family membership.

Friends Membership Exceeds 250

Our Friends group has gained 74 new members thus far in 2001. These plus a greater than
90% retention of year 2000 members bring the total Friends membership to 251. We believe that
the high rate of membership growth and retention demonstrates a strong vote of confidence in the
direction the Friends group is taking. Thank you for your support.
We are always looking for new members to strengthen our organization. If you are not
already a member, please consider joining. If you already belong, perhaps a friend or neighbor
would be interested. If so, please pass along this newsletter or refer them to our web site at, or they can call Kyle Bottorff at 239-9828 or Lisa Wool at 652-3488. A
membership application form is included at the end of the newsletter.

Leadership Volunteer Needed

As most of you know, Kyle Bottorffhas served the Friends outstandingly as both our
Treasurer and our Membership Chair. Now as his growing family and work commitments require
that he relinquish one of these roles, we are looking for someone to serve as either Treasurer or
Membership Chair, both of which are positions on our Executive Committee. Ifyou are interested,
contact Kyle (368-9228) or Andy Urquhart (239-2471) for a rundown on the opportunities
involved in either position.

Friends Projects Draw Lots of Volunteers

During the April-September period, the Friends recorded 1581 hours of volunteer time in
support of the park. The major projects were reforestation, trail work, water ice sales, and
Saturday staffing of the nature center. However, all our projects, large and small, make important
contributions to the park. This year through September we have put in 2185 hours. This is a record
of support for the park of which we can all be proud, and we thank our many volunteers for their
enthusiasm and hard work. Following is a description of some of our additional project activities.

Nature Center Staffing. We launched a new program in late spring to staff the Chambers
House Nature Center for four hours on Saturdays during the warm weather season. Fourteen
volunteers contributed their time, usually by being at the center a few hours each month to
welcome visitors and to help with routine tasks that freed up some time for the regular staff to meet
other needs. We finished the season on September 29, and at this time we anticipate some volunteer
weekend staffing again next year. Look for upcoming notices and let us know if you're interested in
helping. (Note: Debbie Keese, Park Naturalist and Nature Center Manager, tells us that the current
schedule calls for new exhibits to be in place on the first floor of the center in November. Stop by
and take a look.)

Water Ice Sales at Summer Concerts. It will probably bring shivers to some readers to talk
about water ice at frost time, but it was a very popular item this past summer when concertgoers at
the Carpenter Recreation Area bought cups of their favorite flavor from our booth. Besides adding
an extra treat for the many people who attend these Wednesday night programs, the profits we earn
are used in activities that support the Park. We also served complimentary refreshments at the July

11 concert celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Delaware State Parks. This season was a success
because the weather cooperated and because ten volunteers contributed their time and also enjoyed
some good music.

Trail Work. The Friends' trail work schedule shifted from a montWy event to a weekly one
this summer as our efforts focused on completing a major re-routing of a portion of the David
English Trail. Following initial trail layout and construction of a footbridge by the State Parks trail
crew, we worked on constructing the OA-mile segment over a five-month period. We were joined
on one Saturday by volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latier Day Saints who helped at
a time when the work was heaviest and the weather was hottest. The project was completed in
September and the trail segment is now in use. We are returning to our montWy trail work schedule
(see Calendar of Events). Contact Wendel Cassel (302-737-3319) ifyou are interested in montWy
trail work and currently are not on his communication list.

Trail Watch. Trial Watch is the Friends' longest-:running project, and continues to provide
value through volunteers monitoring assigned trails in the Park on a montWy basis. Nearly all of the
park's trails are covered in the program. The primary objective is to communicate any serious
problems to the park staff for attention. Many trail-watchers also perform some trail maintenance
such as removing small debris and hand-tool pruning of invasive plants along sides of trials. If you
are interested in becoming involved as trails become available, contact John Thomas
(302-456-3242). During the last year and a half that John has been leading Trail Watch, he also
has been involved in many other volunteer efforts in the park. He would like to discontinue
coordinating Trail Watch when we can find a replacement so that he can devote more time to these
other projects. If you think you might be interested and would like more information (without
obligation), please contact John, or Tom Hallenbeck (610-274-1345).

Adopt-a-Highway. On September 29, seven volunteers picked up 14 bags of trash along

Foxden Road.

Trail benches. Our project to make, place, and maintain benches along trails in the park is
continuing, with increasing focus on maintenance as many of the best bench sites have been filled.

Bird boxes. We are continuing to maintain and monitor bluebird and kestrel nest boxes in
the park, including now a large number of bluebird boxes in the Carpenter Recreation Area.

Deer Exclosures. The Friends assisted in a state research program being conducted at
White Clay Creek State Park to examine the impact of excluding deer from wildlife habitat by
constructing fencing around small areas in the park. We worked with the researcher and park staff
to construct the "exclosures" during the summer.

Deer Hunting Dates in White Clay Creek State Park (Delaware)

Archery Hunting: October IS-November 8, 2001

Shotgun Hunting: November 9-17,2001, December 8-15, 2001, and January 19-26, 2002

Notes: Hunting is not permitted on Sundays during the above dates. The park does not
close for archery hunting, but areas where shotgun hunting is permitted will be closed during
hunting periods.

Deer Hunting Dates in White Clay Creek Preserve (Pennsylvania)

Archery Hunting: September 29-November 10,2001 and December 26, 2001-January 12,2002
Flintlock Cmuzzleloader) Hunting: October 13-20,2001 and December 26,2001- January 12,2002
Notes: Hunting is not permitted on Sundays during the above dates. The preserve is not
closed to other users during hunting periods.

Calendar of Events

October 27 Trail Work

November 1 Membership Meeting
November 11 Trail Work
November 12 Executive Committee Meeting
December 9 Trail Work
December 10 Executive Committee Meeting with the Advisory Board
January 13 Trail Work
January 14 Executive Committee Meeting
February 11 Executive Committee Meeting
February 23 Trail Work
March 12 Executive Committee Meeting
March 21 Annual Membership Meeting
March 23 Trail Work


President: Andy Urquhart, 239-2471,

Vice-President: Christa Stefanisko, 369-1933,
Treasurer and Membership Chair: Kyle Bottorff: 239-9828,
Secretary and Newsletter Editor: Dick Benson, 410-398-4180,
Projects Committee Chair: Tom Hallenbeck, 610-274-1345,
Membership Assistant: Lisa Wool, 652-3488,


Current Project Leaders:

Trail Watch: John Thomas, 456-3242

Adopt-a-Highway: Dee and Dick Benson, 410-398-4180
Park Benches: Andy Urquhart, 239-2471
Advocacy: Andy Urquhart, 239-2471
Reforestation: Al Zverina, 239-5046, and Christa Stefanisko, 369-1933
Birding Festival: Frank Rawling, 738-0913
Trail Improvement Work: Wendel Cassel, 737-3319
Nature Center Staffing: Tom Hallenbeck, 610-274-1345
Park Office Plantings: Melinda Zoehrer, 610-255-0432
Water Ice Sales: Tom Hallenbeck, 610-274-1345
Deer Exclosures: John Thomas, 456-3242
Website: Rick Hall, 831-1295
Bird Boxes: Frank Rawling, 738-0913 and Andy Urquhart, 239-2471

Membership Application
Join us! If you are not already a member and would like to join, please return this
form with your check made payable to Friends of White Clay Creek State Park.

Name(s) _
Phone ~ _ E-Mail - - - - - - - - - - -

Annual Memberships

_ _$10.00 Individual Membership

__$15.00 Family Membership
__$ 5.00 Student Membership
_ _$ Extra Contribution
$ Total Enclosed

Friends of White Clay ~k State Park, Inc.

P.o. Box 9734 • NeW2l1i, bE "'714-9734