Gov. Jack Markell this week proclaimed June 5 as "Delaware State Parks Day" and along with his proclamation, offered the reminder that, through sponsorship from the Delaware Tourism Office’s “Visit Delaware,” admission is free that day to most parks comprising the Delaware State Parks system, which garnered the Gold Medal Award this year as the nation’s best-managed parks system.
The governor’s announcement was made at an event celebrating the reopening of the Cape Henlopen Fishing Pier. The free parks day June 5 excludes only Fort Delaware and the Brandywine Zoo, for which the regular admission fee will be charged.
“Tourism in Delaware contributes $3 billion to our economy annually — and having the best state parks in the country is key to our success,” said Markell. “Delaware attracts multitudes of out-of-state — and in-state — visitors who come to enjoy scenic and recreational destinations, like the Junction & Breakwater Trail at Cape Henlopen for biking, Delaware Seashore State Park and the Indian River Marina for surf-fishing and boating, Lums Pond for zip-lining, along with many other great outdoors and cultural experiences.
“I encourage Delawareans and visitors to our state alike to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity on June 5 to enjoy all our parks have to offer.”
“With Delaware State Parks is celebrating their 65th anniversary this year and also the National Gold Medal Award from the National Recreation & Parks Association (NRPA) as the best-managed parks system in the country, the free admission on Delaware State Parks Day, June 5, is a great opportunity for folks to experience our great state parks and to see for themselves why Delaware’s parks system was chosen No. 1 nationally,” said DNREC Secretary David Small.
“The state parks system is a scenic and exciting way for visitors to discover what makes Delaware special,” said Delaware Tourism Director Linda Parkowski. “The state drew a record 8 million visitors in 2014, thanks in large part to Delaware’s five-star beaches, which include beaches at three state parks. Visit Delaware’s continued partnership with Delaware State Parks, through programs like the Delaware Outdoor Trail, keeps that tourism momentum going.”
DNREC Division of Parks & Recreation/Delaware State Parks Director Ray Bivens said that June 5 is a date doubly important to anyone planning to take advantage of free admission for state parks and who might also want to fish for free and without needing a fishing license, as June 4 and 5 comprise the “Fish for Free” weekend in Delaware, sponsored by DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife, which includes freshwater angling opportunities within many state parks.
More information on Delaware State Parks’ 65th anniversary celebration and the “Free Day in the Park,” presented by the Delaware Tourism Office’s “Visit Delaware,” can be found at www.destateparks.com/65years. For more on “Visit Delaware,” including lists of things to do in Delaware and ways to plan a trip, go to www.VisitDelaware.com.