New Seaford Park Also Honors Region’s Heritage
The new Oyster House Park in Seaford is opening up, giving more locals citizens and visitors access to the Nanticoke River, while exploring the area’s history.
The ribbon was cut at the park at the site of the old J.B. Robinson Oyster House Thursday. Construction began in December 2020 and focused on enhancing access to the Nanticoke River along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.
“Today, we are increasing access to the Nanticoke River for our community and our visitors. This investment will not only draw people to the waterfront to enjoy the natural beauty of the river, but also to Seaford’s downtown businesses,” Seaford Mayor David Genshaw said. “We believe this park will have a significant economic boost to not only our downtown but will also impact future investments along the waterfront. We can not thank the Chesapeake Conservancy enough, along with all of our public partners, for coming alongside and supporting this project.”
“This first phase of the Oyster House project gives access to an amazing amenity to all residents – the Nanticoke River,” Senator Tom Carper, D-Del. said. “Using the river as a centerpiece, and preserving the environment around it so that the public can use it for generations to come, makes Seaford more attractive to residents, businesses and folks traveling through. That’s a win-win for our environment and the economic vitality of Seaford.”
The total cost of this phase of the project was $1.2-million. Funding came from a mix of private and public resources, including state transportation funding allocated by area lawmakers, DNREC, The Crystal Trust, Longwood Foundation, Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, Welfare Foundation and REI.
The Chesapeake Conservancy says these additional phases will follow:
Phase Two: A natural green amphitheater at the edge of the property that seats 75 people and an overflow of about 200 on the lawn. This will also serve as a community outdoor classroom, gathering space for performances and erosion control to address runoff from steep banks.
Phase Three: A structure that is a reimagination of the two Oyster Houses that were once on the site that will showcase sculpture, interpretive exhibits and provide meeting space. It will include the necessary public amenities such as parking and bathrooms, as well as a porch and garage door openings that will permit an unblocked view of the river from South Cannon Street.
Phase Four: Enhancing community emotional and spiritual connections through pedestrian access to the nearby prayer garden, a tribal ring for the Nanticoke Indians to practice traditional ceremonies by the river and a pavilion for shaded gatherings.