$ 100,000 grant from Perdue funds Seaford Amphitheater
SEA – The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the charitable branch of Lost Farms, presented the Chesapeake Conservancy with a donation of $ 100,000 on October 26 to benefit the construction of a natural outdoor amphitheater in Seaford’s new Oyster House park located at 201 S. Cannon St. on the site of the former JB Robinson Oyster House along the Seaford River Promenade on the Nanticoke River.
“We are very grateful to the Perdue Foundation for supporting this vision,” said Randall Larrimore, chairman of the board of directors of Chesapeake Conservancy, in a statement. “To build Oyster House Park, we partnered with the city and others to provide public access to the Nanticoke River, one of Chesapeake’s most pristine rivers, and worked together to create a beautiful place. where the community can come together and recreate.
“Thanks to Perdue’s generosity, we will also one day see a performance in a new outdoor natural amphitheater. We believe we are helping build a stronger community and a vibrant downtown. I grew up in Seaford and my father was mayor 60 years ago. He would be so proud to see this site as the jewel of the community that it is today.
The Lost Gift is part of the company’s “Bringing Hope to Our Neighbors” initiative, focused on improving quality of life and building strong communities.
“At Perdue Farms, we are proud to support the vision of the Chesapeake Conservancy and the Town of Seaford to create a place that will provide learning opportunities for many students, a venue for performance and the environmental benefits of natural planting for promote erosion control on the banks of the Nanticoke River, ”Kim Nechay, executive director of the Perdue Foundation, said in a statement.
“Perdue has already made a significant investment in Seaford with its agribusiness port and grain facility just up the river. It is truly a blessing that the Perdue Foundation is also investing in the Oyster House project so that everyone can enjoy and learn more about our Nanticoke River and its history, ”Seaford Mayor David Genshaw said in a statement. . “This project owes everything to good stewards like Perdue as well as to the financial commitments of our partners at the Chesapeake Conservancy, Delaware State and Sussex County. On behalf of all of Seaford, we say thank you.
Perdue’s generous donation will help fund the planned outdoor natural amphitheater, which will be built into the slope of the property featuring native plants. There will be 75 seats in the amphitheater and a room on the lawn for an additional 200 people. This will also serve as an outdoor community classroom, bringing together a space for performance and erosion control to combat runoff from the steep riverbanks.
Additionally, as part of the site improvement plan for this phase of park construction, the city plans to remove the impermeable road surface and support the implementation of best management practices to reduce runoff. from Pearl and Cannon streets. New turns will allow access to the property and will support a maximum of open space available for pedestrians.
Timeline: The Road to Oyster House Park
In 2018, Chesapeake Conservancy, a nonprofit organization based in Annapolis, Maryland, purchased the Oyster House Park property, with generous support from the Mt. Cuba Center, and donated the waterfront plot. water to the city. The Chesapeake Conservancy then worked with the city through a one-year public planning and comment period process to solicit community input which was incorporated into a draft master plan for Oyster House Park.
At the end of February 2020, the city council approved a master plan providing for four stages of construction of the park. With the resources mobilized by the Chesapeake Conservancy, the construction tender documents were designed and published in the summer of 2020, and Disssen & Juhn was selected through a tender process for the first phase of the project.
Construction on this first phase of the new park began in December 2020 and focused on improving access to the Nanticoke River along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail (Chesapeake Trail). This phase widened the Seaford River promenade and created fishing spots, a performance platform, mooring facilities for boats and a kayak launching ramp. A reconstructed bulkhead stabilized the shore as well as a new living shore.
The total project cost of this phase was $ 1.2 million, which was funded by a mix of private and public resources, including state transportation funding allocated by state representative Daniel Short. and State Sens / Brian Pettyjohn and Bryant Richardson. Additional funds came from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, the Crystal Trust, the Longwood Foundation, the Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the Welfare Foundation and REI.
The city staged a ribbon cut to officially open the new park in July.
Subsequent phases are scheduled to run over five years, with each phase focused on providing benefits to the community that can be enjoyed immediately upon completion. The new outdoor natural amphitheater is part of phase two.