Going Green!

Annual Native Plant sale set to bloom this weekend at James Farm

No matter how a garden grows, the “Gardening for the Bays” Native Plant Sale set for Saturday, April 30, has something to make it even more spectacular this year.

The annual sale, which will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the James Farm Ecological Preserve on Cedar Neck Road in Ocean View, offers thousands of plants for sun, shade, wet gardens and sandy soils.

Don’t ignore gardening pains. It could signal something worse

Most people do not head for the garden planning to finish the day with aches and pains or a serious injury. Tending flowers, trimming bushes, planting a new tree, and even mowing the lawn can be considered a way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. For the gardener, nothing is more satisfying than stepping back and seeing how beautiful it all is.

Builder Mears honored with Red Diamond Achiever Award

Bruce Mears Designer Builder was selected as the “People’s Choice” winner in Integrity’s 2015 Red Diamond Achiever (RDA) Program, which awards architects, builders and remodelers for cutting-edge design and sustainability through the use of Integrity Windows & Doors.

Inland Bays Foundation sends petition to the EPA

In a first-ever initiative, the Inland Bays Foundation (IBF) has sent a petition to Shawn Garvin, regional administrator of the EPA, Region III, in Philadelphia. IBF is requesting that EPA designate and regulate small municipal separate stormwater systems (MS4’s) discharging into the Inland Bays Watershed.

East Coast Garden Center to host Flower Festival on April 30

East Coast Garden Center in Millsboro will kick off the spring season and allow the public to see, touch, feel, smell and perhaps even taste the flowers and plants that are available to help brighten up a landscape or container garden at its Flower Festival on Saturday, April 30.

RAL offers conservation-themed evening with exhibit curator Plowman

As part of the ongoing “Wetlands and Waterways” exhibition, on display through May 8, at the Rehoboth Art League, on Friday, April 29, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., the Rehoboth Art League will host “An Evening with Terry Plowman.”

Boaters urged to check gear before putting vessels in the water

With warm weather finally having arrived, DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police this week reminded boaters to make sure their vessel is ready for a trouble-free day enjoying Delaware’s waterways by performing a pre-departure check. Before hooking up your boat trailer, boaters should have:

Beebe Auxiliary to hold Annual Plant Sale and Family Fun Fest

The 2016 Annual Plant Sale and Family Fun Fest will take place on Saturday, April 23, at East Coast Garden Center in Millsboro, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Pet Corner: Families flock to backyard chickens and ducks

Families flock to chickensFamilies flock to chickensIt’s that time of year again… Baby chicks and ducks! If you go into many of the farm feed stores around this time of year, you will likely see a warm red light and hear a lot of cheeping. It is the time of year that the farm feed stores get in their baby chicks and ducks that they offer for sale. Many people in this area have what are commonly called “backyard flocks.”

Now, don’t go running to your local Southern States or Tractor Supply to get yourself a few chicks. One — many of them are sold out of them almost as soon as they come in, and two, they don’t make great house pets.

(Yes, another thing I know from experience — we actually hatched eggs in my suburban Maryland home when my sisters and I were kids. Fortunately, we had a friend who had a small farm and wanted our University of Maryland fancy chickens. All two dozen of them!)

They do make great outdoor pets. They love to eat bugs. They can become quite friendly. They will follow you around the yard. They will dig up your mulch and throw it out of your once-lovely flower beds. (OK — so that’s a downside.)

FEMA rejects South Bethany’s flood map appeal

South Bethany has had trouble stemming the tide. Just as storms battered their protective sand dunes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has completely rejected their appeals to downgrade the new flood insurance rate map (FIRM).

Townsend describes potential for statewide clean-water fee

What would it cost to clean Delaware’s waters?

State Sen. Bryan Townsend said an extra $100 million per year would be nice. But Delaware’s Clean Water Task Force is approaching a more realistic recommendation of $20 million per year to start problem-solving.

Aquaculture still open to public comments

Now is the time to submit final comments about the creation of commercial shellfish aquaculture in the inland bays.

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control announced that it only seeks to include 343 acres as “Shellfish Aquaculture Development Areas” (SADA) in the inland bays, instead of the 442 acres originally proposed.

Mid-Atlantic council to release ocean data

Good planning starts with good information. That’s why the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) forum met on Jan. 29 to learn about three data-collection projects regarding the Atlantic Ocean.

Hosted in Dewey Beach, with the Rehoboth Bay as a backdrop, the MARCO meeting revolved around one idea: What do we know about the Mid-Atlantic?

Delaware Botanic Gardens awarded $750,000 grant from Longwood Foundation

The Longwood Foundation has approved a $750,000 grant to the Delaware Botanic Gardens to help it begin work on Phase One of the garden, located on Pepper Creek near Dagsboro.

Dunes, trails and sea-level rise all part of ‘Small talk’

Parishioners at one local Catholic church have a moral goal to “protect God’s creation.” When they realized the environmental mission of Delaware Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC) aligns with their own, they invited the department head to speak at St. Ann Catholic Church in Bethany Beach on Dec. 3.

‘Rock star’ designer coming to local botanical garden

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Piet Oudolf is an international star where gardens are concerned. Here he is being interviewed at Delaware Botanical Gardens on Sunday, Oct. 18. Oudolf has agreed to transform approximately 1.5 acres into a flowing meadow at the gardens.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Piet Oudolf is an international star where gardens are concerned. Here he is being interviewed at Delaware Botanical Gardens on Sunday, Oct. 18. Oudolf has agreed to transform approximately 1.5 acres into a flowing meadow at the gardens.Considered a “rock star” of landscape design, Piet Oudolf has headlined in gardens worldwide. And he’s coming soon to Dagsboro.

With a thick shock of white hair, this Dutch master of meadows toured Delaware Botanic Gardens (DBG) the first time on Oct. 18. Located on Pepper Creek, the 37 acres of forest and former soybean fields are waiting to become a world-class public garden a mile east of Dagsboro. Plans call for the first phase to open in 2017.

Oudolf has agreed to transform about 1.5 acres into a colorful, rippling meadow.

“Oudolf is becoming recognized as one of the most transformative garden designers of our time,” stated landscape architect Rodney Robinson. “His influence spans an international scale. I can’t think of a better garden designer to launch the Delaware Botanic Gardens.”

Oudolf’s association with the garden will increase its visibility, said Holly Shimizu, former executive director of the U.S. Botanic Garden.

Corps to pursue new hydrodynamic study of OC inlet

Deciding against using the results of a 17-year old report, which couldn’t include data for events such as Superstorm Sandy, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has instead elected to pursue a new hydrodynamic study of the Ocean City Inlet to determine the cause of its constant shoaling.

DNREC workshop reviews proposed beach regulations

The Delaware State Legislature has made a number of changes to the Beach Preservation Act in past decades, and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) is now trying to put those changes into action by writing new regulations for beachfront building and use.

Botanic gardens to host native plant lecture Sept. 26

Claudia West, planting designer and ecological sales manager at North Creek Nurseries, will discuss “Wild and Neat: Native Plants that Bridge the Gap between Horticulture and Ecology” on Sept. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Frankford Public Library.

Dumping could close recycling center; neighbors all for it

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: The recycling drop-off at Fresh Pond State Park could be taken away because of people abusing it. To Ocean Village residents, that would be a good thing.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: The recycling drop-off at Fresh Pond State Park could be taken away because of people abusing it. To Ocean Village residents, that would be a good thing.The Bethany Beach area is already at risk of losing the free recycling drop-off at Fresh Pond State Park, due to the tremendous amounts of non-recyclable garbage that is being dumped there.

“We might have to close the facility if we cannot curtail the illegal dumping that has been going on there,” said Mike Parkowski of the Delaware Solid Waste Authority (DSWA).

But that would suit nearby residents just fine.

Ocean Village is a private neighborhood located across Coastal Highway from Fresh Pond. For them, the “terrible eyesore” of televisions, furniture, construction debris and once, a toilet, is just the beginning.

Ocean Village opposed the recycling center being there even before people started treating the recycling cans as garbage dumpsters, before the lingering food attracted wildlife, which residents said crosses the highway into their neighborhood.