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Karen's Plan: Revitalizing And Enhancing Parks, Recreation, And Open Space

 

As your candidate for New Castle County Executive and the President of New Castle County Council for the past eight years, I have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to improving the quality of life for our residents. My experience underscores the value of our parks, recreation facilities, and open spaces, and I have passionately supported, advocated, and, at times, written and sponsored legislation to enhance these vital community assets. Core services such as maintenance and upkeep, community engagement and events, and innovative programs ensure our parks remain clean, safe, and vibrant. I plan to introduce new initiatives, like the Riverfront Regional Park in Claymont and the revival of Carousel Park & Equestrian Center's petting zoo and equine-assisted therapy. My vision includes implementing a comprehensive best practices plan for consistent and effective park maintenance. My tenure has been marked by a dedication to supporting, advocating for, and crafting legislation that benefits our community, ensuring that New Castle County boasts the best and safest parks in the country. Experience matters, and together, we will make New Castle County the best place to live, work, and play.

Revitalizing and Enhancing Parks, Recreation, & Open Space 

As your candidate for New Castle County Executive and the President of New Castle County Council for the past eight years, I have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to improving the quality of life for our residents. My experience underscores the value of our parks, recreation facilities, and open spaces, and I have passionately supported, advocated, and, at times, written and sponsored legislation to enhance these vital community assets. Experience matters, and my track record proves it.

Core Services and Innovative Programs

New Castle County will offer a variety of services to maintain and enhance our parks and recreation facilities.

 

These include:

Maintenance and Upkeep

Ensuring our parks are clean, safe, and well-maintained is a top priority. Despite a significant reduction in public works employees under the current administration, I am committed to restoring our workforce to previous levels. Hiring the necessary number of employees is crucial to maintaining our parks' quality and safety.

Community Engagement
and Events

Increasing the number of community events in all our parks fosters a sense of community and encourages active participation in maintaining these spaces. Programs such as youth engagement in park maintenance can instill a sense of ownership and responsibility among our younger residents.

Innovative Programs

Drawing inspiration from successful initiatives nationwide, I plan to implement best practices for park upkeep and regular upgrades. This includes a comprehensive plan and timetable for maintenance and equipment replacement.

New Initiatives and Future Vision

My vision for New Castle County includes several exciting new initiatives to enhance our parks and recreation facilities:

Riverfront Regional Park
in Claymont

This new world-class regional park will be located on the Delaware River near the new train station. It will provide diverse recreational opportunities, including riverfront access, trails, educational programs with our schools, sports fields, an amphitheater, a restaurant, and a marina. This park will become a hub for community activity and a destination for residents and visitors alike.

Carousel Park &

Equestrian Center

I will bring back the beloved petting zoo for the children and provide a program and space for therapists to work with veterans with PTSD, trauma survivors, and others who would benefit from therapy utilizing horses to heal. This particular initiative does not involve riding and has been shown to provide amazing results. will provide therapeutic benefits to our veterans while enhancing the park's offerings for families.

Best Practices Plan

Implementing a park's best practices plan will ensure regular upkeep, timely revisions, and necessary upgrades. Currently, no such plan exists, and I am committed to establishing a robust framework for the consistent and effective maintenance of our parks.

Educational Opportunities and Technological Integration

To further enhance the value of our parks, I will introduce initiatives that synergistically work with schools, students, and teachers:

Outdoor Classrooms

Collaborating with local schools, we will create outdoor classroom spaces in our parks. Teachers will have the opportunity to conduct lessons in natural settings, providing students with hands-on learning experiences.

Educational Programs

Technology Integration

We will develop programs that integrate our parks into the school curriculum, offering educational tours and interactive learning opportunities in subjects such as biology, environmental science, and history.

Creating a variety of apps for constituents to download based on their goals for our parks, trails, activities, and sports. Additionally, we will develop augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences. With AR, visitors can access interactive information about our parks and trails, enhancing their visit. VR will allow constituents to explore parks and trails virtually, helping them decide which locations to visit and providing access to those who cannot visit in person.

Experience Matters

During my tenure as President of New Castle County Council, I have voted for and funded numerous initiatives that underscore my commitment to our parks and recreation services. My experience in supporting, advocating for, and crafting legislation that benefits our community speaks to my dedication and capability to lead our county toward a brighter future.

By prioritizing our core services and introducing innovative programs, we will ensure that New Castle County boasts the best and safest parks in the country. Together, we can create vibrant, engaging, and well-maintained spaces that enhance the quality of life for all our residents.

Join me in this journey to revitalize and enhance our parks, recreation facilities, and open spaces. Experience matters, and together, we will make New Castle County the best place to live, work, and play.

Forest Walking
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