Park verses Preserve

By Ellen Scavia

Did you know that the only ‘preserve’ we have in our entire PA State Park system, is the White Clay Creek Preserve? What’s the difference? Basically, parks are managed for people while preserves are intended for nature. The parks that have Conservation Area in their name, are similar in nature, in that they are used for low density, low impact recreation with very limited infrastructure.

How Did This Occur?

In the 1950s, it was believed that New Castle County, Delaware, was going to experience increased population growth and a consequent need for new water resources. To meet this projected need, it was proposed that White Clay Creek be dammed north of Newark, backing its waters to form a reservoir that would extend into Pennsylvania as far as the southern end of the town of Landenberg. The DuPont Company would be a large user of this new water resource, so they began buying the land along the creek up to the 175-foot contour line.

For various reasons, the problems engendered by this project caused its entire cancellation, leaving the DuPont Company with over 1,500 acres of land for which it had no use. After consultation with the Federal government and several research studies, the DuPont Company offered 1,234 acres to Pennsylvania and 486 acres to Delaware. Both states accepted this offer, and on October 16, 1984, these lands were transferred to the new owners. The DuPont Company was concerned that the land being transferred by them to Pennsylvania and Delaware be kept as “untouched” as possible during the planning and future management by both states.

Sign on PennDel Trail Photo by Scotty Crowder