City parks program FAQs

 

1. What is the WBC and how does this apply to my park?

2. What is a Friends Group

3. Why become a FRIEND?

4. What is a Friends group involved in?

5. What Wilmington Parks currently have a Friends group?

6. How do I start a friends-of-park group?

7. How do I report graffiti, vandalism?

8. How do I report safety issues?

9. How do I report crime issues?

10. What if I have questions about playground equipment?

11. What other types of programming are happening in my park?

12. How can the community support Park beautification efforts?

13. I want to hold a community event in park. It may be over 200 or more people, do I need a permit?

14. Is there financial assistance available for park beautification?

15. What tree species are in my park?

16. How to make sure park trees are maintained? What if I notice a potentially dangerous tree in a park?

17. I represent a Corporate, Youth, or other Volunteer Group-is there something we can do in the parks to help?

18. Who can I contact if I have more questions or want to Volunteer?

 


1.  What is the WBC and how does this apply to my park?
The Delaware Center for Horticulture and the City of Wilmington have partnered together to facilitate the Wilmington Beautification Commission (WBC), which is a coalition of nonprofit organizations, community members, and government partners with an interest in community greening and beautification. One portion of the WBC’s efforts in Wilmington is to make contact with communities surrounding city parks and greenspaces in Wilmington and help to organize them in their efforts to keep their parks clean, safe, and, most importantly, green.


Some communities have taken more readily to this idea than others, therefore leaving us with a more broad definition of what a Friends group really does. Some of our city parks Friends groups simply want to show up to days we say we’re planting and lend a hand. On the opposite side of the spectrum, we have one group which is more or less self-run, and TheDCH lends support and planting materials occasionally here. We would like to see most parks fall somewhere in the middle and leaning toward the self-sufficient end; i.e. having a handful of involved, dedicated community members who help to plan projects and give input as to priority areas to be ‘fixed,’ maintained, or changed entirely.
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2.  What is a FRIENDS group?
A Friends of Park group is comprised of interested local people who come together with the aim for improving the appearance, facilities, conservation value and safety of their local park. Friends also contribute to park maintenance, cleanups, and organizing; give feedback and design ideas; identify priority safety and improvement projects; and help to seek and secure funding for the park.

 

This group serves under the auspices of the Wilmington Beautification Commission (WBC), in coalition with the City of Wilmington Parks and Recreation Department (Parks), and the Delaware Center for Horticulture to plant, maintain and water plant beds, annuals, perennials, and trees that have been provided through TheDCH and the community.
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3.  Why become a FRIEND?
It is a wonderful chance to improve your green thumb, learn about plants, discover your neighborhood and get involved with the beautification of your community!


By taking action to improve the environments in which we live, we are choosing to reduce costs, improve air and water quality, increase property values, and create a safer place to live.


Your Friends group may:

  • Plan and carry out beautification projects
  • Plant and maintain trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals
  • Provide specific expertise for the park (maintenance, design, etc.)
  • Patrol parks
  • Contribute to the management of the park
  • Maintain trails, outdoor gardens, and park structures and furniture
  • Remove litter
  • Lead walks, talks and events
  • Host meetings, seminars, and conferences
  • Sponsor, organize, and staff special events
  • Resource inventories
  • Take photographs
  • Other professional support (i.e.,and contractors, master gardeners, etc.)
  • Raise funds for improvements and events in parks
  • Secure special grants
  • Solicit special donations
  • Sponsor foot races and walk-a-thons
  • Create a quarterly newsletter
  • Support and Marketing
  • Market Friends group activities
  • Create public support for Friends of Wilmington City Parks
  • Ensure the community's voice is heard with regard to the management of the park
  • Support park-related legislation
  • Write for publications

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4.  What Wilmington Parks currently have a Friends Group?

Currently, we are looking to form or currently have an active Friends Group at the following parks. If you live in any of these communities, or if you’re just interested in planting in a city park, you are welcome to join us at one of our upcoming events.


Friends of Brandywine Mills Park
– 19th and North Market Streets

Friends of Brown-Burton-Winchester Park
– 26th & Pine, Speakman Place, 23rd & Locust, 30th & Pine

Friends of Canby Park
– S. Union, S. Lincoln, & Sycamore Streets

Friends of Cool Spring Park & Tilton Park
– W. 10th St. & W. 8th St.

Friends of Haynes Park
– Miller Road & W. 30th St.

Friends of Helen Chambers Playground
– W. 7th & Monroe St.

Friends of Kirkwood Park
– Northeast Blvd & E. 11th St.

Friends of Kosciuszko Park
– S. Broom & Maple St.

Friends of Stapler Park
– 16th and North Union Streets

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5.  How do I start a friends-of-park group?
Friends groups are coordinated through the Delaware Center for Horticulture’s Parks Program Coordinator, Jacque Williamson.
If you are interested in starting a Friends group for your park, contact Jacque and she will be able to discuss with you multiple Friends group activities. Be sure to include your neighbors and local civic association in your decision to start a friends group; the more support from around your community that you have, the more successful your group will become.
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6.  How do I report graffiti, vandalism
Call the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services, (302) 576-CITY or (302) 576-2489 or email at cityhelp@ci.wilmington.de.us to report graffiti, make sure to note its location within the park.
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7.  How do I report graffiti, vandalism
Call the Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services, (302) 576-CITY or (302) 576-2489 or email at cityhelp@ci.wilmington.de.us to report graffiti. Make sure to note its location within the park.
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8.  How do I report safety issues?
To report a safety or maintenance issue contact Parks Superintendent, Claude McCrea, at 302-576-3820. You can also try contacting the main office at  (302) 576-3810
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9.  How do I report crime issues in a park?
To report emergency crimes, dial 9-1-1. To report non-emergency crimes, call the Wilmington Police Department at (302) 654-5151.
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10.  What if I have questions about playground equipment?
For information about playground equipment maintenance, contact Parks Maintenance Superintendent Claude McCrea, at 302-576-3820.
For information about playground equipment installations, contact Stan Koszicki, Parks and Recreation Projects Manager at 302-573-5790.
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11.  What other types of activities are happening in my park?
Many recreational sports teams and park programs are available through the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information, visit the city's website.


Summer Park Program for children 6-17 in multiple parks throughout the city. This program is available in either day or evening programs. Contact Program Coordinator Shawn R. Baker at 302-576-3810. For a full list of parks this program is available through visit the city's website.


Click on the link for the current year’s ‘Activity Guide’ to download the guide in a PDF and view all available programs through Parks and Recreation, or call the main office at (302) 576-3810.


Youth and Families Food Program for children living around city parks is a Federally Funded Program that receives funding through the state. The purpose of the program is to provide children meals when school is out on a first come first served basis. An invitation is extended to churches, parks, camps, daycare centers etc. who services children during the summer months.


Adopt-A-Block programs are in place throughout the city, including some parks. Adopt-A-Block programs run quarterly and are reported on by the local community group involved.


Operation Clean Sweep is another cleanup programs available through the city; involves scheduled annual cleanup days in which community member litter pick and leave trash bags at the curb for the city to pickup.
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12.  How can the community support Park beautification efforts?
By joining or organizing a Friends group, you can directly affect the decisions being made about your park. Friends groups activities range from planting and service days to meetings which involve organization and future planning of park activities, maintenance, etc.
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13.  I want to hold a community event in park. It may be over 200 or more people - do I need a permit?
Call the main office of the Department of Parks and Recreation at (302) 576-3810.
Park usage and clean-up fee: Chapter 38 PARKS AND RECREATION Section 38-76.
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14.  Is there financial assistance available for park beautification?
Yes, there are a number of funding streams which your park may be eligible for. These include, but are not limited to: Wilmington Beautification Commission; Community Transportation Funds; Delaware Forest Service Urban forestry grants; discretionary funds from elected representatives, Community Development Block Grants, Neighborhood Planning Council funding, and others.
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15.  What tree species are in my park?
The City and Delaware Center for Horticulture maintain an online inventory of Wilmington’s street and park trees, where you can find out about the trees at your address. Visit this page to learn more about the online Street Tree Inventory.
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16.  How do I make sure park trees are maintained? What if I notice a potentially dangerous tree in a park?
If you have questions about tree maintenance and pruning or to report city park trees that may be potentially hazardous or dead, contact the Department of Parks and Recreation, Maintenance Division Superintendent, Claude McCrea, at 302-576-3820 or the City of Wilmington Forrester Phil Simmons at 302-576-3823.
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17.  I represent a Corporate, Youth, or other Volunteer Group-is there something we can do in the parks to help?
Yes! We do offer volunteer opportunities in the parks for groups in Wilmington. We typically take groups of between 8 to 25 volunteers depending upon the project, skill and age of volunteers, and amount of work needed, to help us with different tasks in the parks.

Here’s what we can typically offer, according to season:


Late Winter/Spring
(generally 1.5-2 hour service projects, depending upon project):

  • Park Cleanups (litter picking, pruning, and other maintenance needs)
  • Spring prep (which may include mulching or spreading compost on existing beds)

Mid/Late Spring
(generally 1.5-3 hour service projects, depending upon project):

  • Park Cleanups (litter picking, pruning, and other maintenance needs)
  • Flower bed preparation (mulching or spreading compost) and maintenance (weeding)
  • Planting annuals, perennials, herbaceous plants, or shrubs
  • Planting trees

Summer
(generally 1.5-2 hour service projects, depending upon project):

  • Park Cleanups (litter picking, pruning, and other maintenance needs)
  • Fall prep (which may include mulching or spreading compost on existing beds)
  • Weeding

Fall
(generally 1.5-3 hour service projects, depending upon project)

  • Park Cleanups (litter picking, pruning, and other maintenance needs)
  • Flower bed preparation (mulching or spreading compost) and maintenance (weeding)
  • Planting perennials
  • Planting trees
  • Planting fall bulbs

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18.  Who can I contact if I have more questions or want to volunteer?

For more information about Friends groups, or on how to become a Friend of a Park, please contact Jacque Williamson, Parks Program Coordinator.