Let’s work together to help state park

December 13, 2022

DNREC, La Vida Hospitality and all interested organizations and parties should be commended for the reasonable and amicable outcome to the recent proposal for a restaurant at Cape Henlopen State Park. I’m among what appears to be the significant majority who did not want to see this restaurant come to fruition, for many of the same reasons as were outlined in both letters to the editor in the Cape Gazette, and comments on social media and in person at the public comment meeting. 

That said, even the most ardent of opponents who attended the Dec. 5 public meeting at Cape Henlopen High School should concede that DNREC succeeded in highlighting multiple issues that face the state park we all clearly feel so passionate about protecting and preserving. The good news is, there are many ways in which you can continue to exercise your enthusiasm, beyond the contentious public debate. 

Many of us visit the park with great frequency. We pay our entrance fees – or our annual fees – and assume we’ve done our part in contributing to the protection, preservation or improvement of the property. While these dollars are certainly a significant contribution to the health of the park system, it’s obvious that those of us who are able can and should be doing more for this remarkable sanctuary we often take for granted. As much as I and a great many others are relieved at the decision to not move forward with the restaurant as proposed, it does not make the problems DNREC is trying to solve simply go away. Certainly, the issues as reported by DNREC are largely financial, and in dollar amounts that the majority of us can’t possibly solve. But there are other opportunities available – those with low or no cost, and with a tangible impact on the park.  

It isn’t enough to simply have a strongly worded opinion on social media – it’s time for us to use the same motivation and passion we’ve shown for our park over recent weeks to make a contribution to the betterment of the property, myself included. That’s why, as soon as I returned home from the public comment meeting Dec. 5, I made the small contribution required to join the Friends of Cape Henlopen State Park, in hopes of taking advantage of volunteer opportunities. DNREC itself keeps a calendar online offering volunteer opportunities in our state park system, and other attractions such as Fort Miles Historical Association are always recruiting volunteers as well. Through these opportunities, we can help alleviate the issues facing Cape Henlopen that led us to the restaurant proposal in the first place, and all for the price of spending more time in the park we care so much about. Perhaps this contribution is small, but it is something, and it can make a difference. 

Neil D. Parry
  • A letter to the editor expresses a reader's opinion and, as such, is not reflective of the editorial opinions of this newspaper.

    To submit a letter to the editor for publishing, send an email to Letters must be signed and include a telephone number and address for verification. Please keep letters to 500 words or fewer. We reserve the right to edit for content and length. Letters should be responsive to issues addressed in the Cape Gazette rather than content from other publications or media. Only one letter per author will be published every 30 days. Letters restating information and opinions already offered by the same author will not be used. Letters must focus on issues of general, local concern, not personalities or specific businesses.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter