The Division of Parks and Recreation operates and maintains 17 state parks and related preserves and greenways throughout Delaware. The state's land protection programs are also administered by the Division. The Division is additionally responsible for providing recreational opportunities and educational and interpretive programs for the public. Other responsibilities include:
- Acquiring and developing recreational lands and facilities
- Providing for the protection of natural areas
- Overseeing and planning for statewide recreational needs
The Division of Parks and Recreation is part of Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. We are located at 89 King's Highway in Dover, Delaware; office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Our Mission Statement
Our mission is to provide Delaware's residents and visitors with safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities and open spaces, responsible stewardship of the lands and the cultural and natural resources that we have been entrusted to protect and manage, and resource-based interpretive and educational services.
Principles of Operation:
Recognizing that this mission cannot be successfully achieved without dedicated and professional employees and volunteers and the active support of the people we serve, we pledge to operate and abide by the following principles:
- A Commitment to the Customer: State parks and preserves are managed for Delaware's residents and visitors, and shall be both accessible and affordable to all segments of society. Since our operations are almost entirely supported by our customers, every effort shall be made to not only satisfy their needs and requests with respect and courtesy, but also to ensure that the quality of the services offered remains high and the costs remain reasonable.
- A Commitment to Our Employees: By training our employees and volunteers in resource protection and customer service and by exposing them to new challenges, they will remain motivated and better able to serve the public, our customers. Because of their desire to maintain a high standard of public service, they shall be empowered to do so, and their efforts and successes shall always be recognized.
- A Commitment to Future Generations: State parks and preserves are irreplaceable public assets and must be secured for future generations. We shall provide for their protection and preservation as well as their use, enjoyment, and understanding, through planning, strategic land acquisition, appropriate development, interpretive and educational programming, and the management of grounds and facilities.
- A Commitment to Cooperation: We will always want to accomplish more than our resources will allow; therefore, we will continue to seek opportunities to form partnerships and alliances with other government agencies, non-profit organizations and the private sector. We will strive to lead by example in all aspects of natural and cultural resource protection and management, and, whenever possible, we will offer technical and financial assistance so that others may share in our mission.
Organization of the Division of Parks and Recreation
Division Director: Raymond E. Bivens
The Director's Office provides overall direction and management of Division of Parks and Recreation resources, facilities, services, policies, and procedures.
Administrative Services Section
Section Administrator: Greg Abbott
The Administrative Services section provides the Division's internal support services, including business operations, personnel management, marketing, social media,and communication services, design and print production, and web services.
Planning Preservation and Development Section
Section Administrator: Matthew Ritter
This section administers land acquisition and protection programs, including the Office of Nature Preserves. It also administers the Land and Water Conservation Trust Fund grants program, the statewide Greenways and Trails Program and the Coastal Heritage Greenway program. In addition, the section is responsible for planning, designing and constructing new facilities. The state's Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan is developed by the section.
Operations and Maintenance Section
Section Administrator: Eric Dawson
This section oversees the day-to-day operation and maintenance of all state parks and facilities, including over 400 state park buildings. It operates the Division's nine interpretive centers, offers programs on the natural and cultural resources of the parks, environmental education, and special events, and is responsible for the Division's cultural resources programs, including archaeology, history, historical architecture, and the Delaware Folklife Program. The section also oversees the enforcement of rules and regulations and park safety and security.